I wrote a bit two days ago about using the Do It Again teaching strategy with my class. Then I wrote yesterday about the pedagogical framework of gradually releasing responsibility. Although not planned in advance, today’s topic is about another fundamental teaching practice: reteaching.
Reteaching is exactly what it sounds like: it is going over material that has already been taught, approaching it from different angles. Of course, reteaching is not teaching the same thing the exact same way. The reason teachers have to reteach material is because, for whatever reason, the students didn’t quite get it the first time and need to try something new. Reteaching can be used in any instructional setting at any time.
I used this strategy today after looking over last night’s math homework. The assignment was related to multi-step word problems, which probably rank as some of the most difficult problems students in elementary grades have to work through. These problems involved addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and even fractions. Even though we have been looking at different word problems all week, I had already anticipated that my students would have trouble and so I planned on reteaching strategies for solving these kind of problems.
We reviewed a variety of mathematical problem solving strategies: guess and check, write a number sentence, make a chart, and draw a picture. For each problem, I guided the students through the steps for solving them and taught them how to use a highlighter to identify important information. It seemed that most of the class was starting to get the concepts today, but I reassured them all that we would be looking at these kind of problems all year long!