Chunk & Chew

I really enjoyed this video by a former classmate, Jacquie Dale.  She created it by using mysimpleshow.com and I’m definitely curious enough to give it a shot.  Those were simple, clean, engaging animations that provided a crystal clear explanation.  I think I’d like to try my own narration, rather than the electronic voice, but I should probably be careful what I wish for.

Apart from that, I’m really excited about this overarching principle of a lesson plan. Chunking information into a maximum 10-minute block, then having students chew on it for a few minutes. This has the potential to create a dynamic flow in the classroom.  I can imagine weaving in different “chunks” like videos, reading, storytelling, or lecturing, with several “chews” such as small group discussions, reflections, or focused list writing.  The combinations are almost endless when you consider the possible classroom assessment techniques and instructional strategies available.  Take a look at an infographic created by another former classmate, Melissa Ashman:

An infographic on the "chunk and chew" instructional strategy

Lately I’ve been teaching long blocks in one of my courses – 2 classes at 4-hours each. I could definitely build in quite a bit more chunking and chewing throughout those lessons. While I certainly provide plenty of active learning opportunities, there are times I can lecture upwards of 25-minutes, with participatory learning activities sometimes taking 45-minutes to an hour. Part of that is certainly based around having to fill 8-hours a week, but I am really going to try to incorporate this concept as I move into my next round of lesson planning.

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