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Thursday, March 02, 2006



Instead of calling it "drill and kill" perhaps we should rename it


because without it, many of our students don't end up with the skills that they need. Many of my students have a very limited working memory, which makes it absolutely imperative for them to achieve automaticity - either with the original skill or a very reliable and fast workaround. Otherwise they run into an information and time bottleneck, which has very real consequences for their ability to perform higher level tasks and to get anything into long term memory. And if they're up against a limited attention span too, then they might not be able to even complete the task at all, because they've exhausted the available focus time dredging up a fact or procedure that is automatic for most learners.

Charlotte Lucier

I just want to say that I agree with you on the automaticity that makes processing harder material easier. I am from the old school where you memorized and memorized and now, at 46, I am in grad school. I am also a teacher of emotionally handicapped 7th and 8th graders. Memorization is not stressed in school today, especially at the elementary level so that when the student reaches middle school they struggle with the harder higher level stuff because they do not have their fundamentals down. My students, and many gen ed students, have no clue as to how to memorize and memory is a necessity in life.It is not DRILL & KILL but DRILL FOR SKILL so that students continue in their education and become functioning members of society.

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