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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Monday Move: Activating Prior Knowledge

Welcome to ‘Monday Move’, a new feature on our site where you’ll be given a new tip, trick, or teaching move that you can quickly implement in your class.

Pre-activities and warm-ups are fantastic ways to activate your student’s prior knowledge and can have a powerful impact on learning outcomes*. Any one of these moves will help students activate prior knowledge from their previous studies, home/community, cultural identity, or career.

  • ABC Brainstorm: Students generate a list of words related to the new topic based on letters of the alphabet
  • 3-minute Quick-write: Students respond to a prompt or summarize a key idea from a previous reading/lecture before being introduced to a new topic
  • Learning by Illustrating: Students draw a picture, for example, of what a balanced meal looks like, before they discuss nutrition in a course
  • Think-Pair-Share: Students think for a minute then share their thoughts with a peer and then the whole class

This Monday Move was inspired by "Teachin’ It!" by Felicia Darling. This fantastic book is full of practical advice based on sound theory on how to better teach community college students. We have two copies available in room 3110 for you to check out - come pick one up!

*Source: Neuroscience!

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