Teachers who consolidate help students integrate and synthesize key ideas. They summarize and make connections in ways that help students see relationships within and across lessons, remember ideas, and build understanding over time.
Message to Students:
“We review and summarize lessons to help make learning coherent and memorable.”
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Sample Student Survey Items
(for different grade levels)
- To help us remember, my teacher talks about things we already learned.
- My teacher takes time to help us remember what we learn.
- My teacher takes the time to summarize what we learn each day.
Indicators of an Exemplary Classroom
Teachers effectively consolidate through practices like these:
Reviewing and summarizing
The teacher consistently reviews and summarizes content with students.
- The teacher reviews and summarizes what has been taught at the end of each lesson, highlighting relationships among ideas.
- The teacher facilitates activities in which students summarize what they have learned or apply it in new contexts.
The teacher effectively organizes and integrates content to make it easier for students to remember and understand.
- The teacher explains connections between current lessons and previously learned facts, ideas, concepts, and skills.
- The teacher invites students to make their own connections across the curriculum.
Consider these questions as you reflect on your classroom practice:
- Do you summarize big ideas at the end of lessons and review them periodically?
- Do you ask students to summarize and synthesize what they are learning?
- Do you make explicit connections between lessons?
- Do you help students make connections within and across the curriculum?
- Do you refer to relevant current events or other meaningful applications of what students are learning to facilitate transfer of knowledge and skills?
- Do your assignments require students to build on prior learning?
- Do your assessments incorporate topics and skills from earlier lessons?
Try implementing teaching strategies like these in your classroom:
- Use KWL charts to track what students know about a topic, what they want to know, and what they learn.
- Explain to students how to underline, highlight, and/or annotate texts and then summarize the main ideas in their own words.
- Begin and/or end lessons with references to previously taught topics and how they are connected.
- Ask students to reflect on what they have learned and how it relates to other ideas or experiences.
We’ve curated a set of teaching resources for Consolidate. As you set goals and pursue professional learning opportunities, use these resource collections to access additional strategies, tools, and examples of effective practices in action.
CONSOLIDATE: CONNECTING IDEAS
Teachers who consolidate help students integrate and synthesize key ideas. They summarize and make connections in ways that help students see relationships within and across lessons, remember ideas, and build understanding over time. Find resources offering classroom strategies that support the practice of effectively organizing and integrating content to make it easier for students to remember and understand.
How to Increase Higher Order Thinkingwww.readingrockets.org/article/how-increase-higher-order-thinking This article explains how to respond to students’ questions in ways that foster higher order thinking, and offers a variety of teaching strategies that can help to develop thinking skills. It describes techniques for explaining clearly, promoting discussion, connecting ideas, and otherwise deepen and expand students’ thinking …
UDL Guideline 3: Provide options for comprehensionwww.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle1#principle1_g3 This well-organized guide to implementing principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) explains why it’s important to clarify and consolidate students\u2019 understanding and offers a variety of practical strategies, examples, and resources. For instance, activating background knowledge, highlighting patterns and big ideas, scaffolding cognitive processing, and supporting transfer can …
What Makes a Question Essential?www.ascd.org/publications/books/109004/chapters/What-Makes-a-Question-Essential%A2.aspx This book chapter explains how teaching with essential questions can challenge students to think deeply about big ideas that are core to the disciplines and captivate their interest by making learning meaningful. This informative introduction assists teachers in crafting questions to guide inquiry and learning that help students make …
Exit Slipswww.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/exit-slips-30760.html Exit slips invite students to briefly reflect on what they learned during a lesson and can provide teachers with an informal assessment of student understanding. They can help teachers find out how students are synthesizing and connecting what they are learning, what they are still wondering about, or any …
Expect Students to Activate, Connect and Summarize Dailywww.adlit.org/article/19905/ This classroom routine can help students, especially struggling readers, to actively engage with texts so that they comprehend what they are reading, connect new ideas with existing knowledge, and practice summarizing to consolidate their understanding …
First Five Minutes/Last Five Minuteseleducation.org/resources/first-five-minutes-last-five-minutes This brief video demonstrates strategies for maximizing learning time at the beginning and ending of a class, including ways to focus students, check for understanding, and consolidate learning. It offers a variety of useful examples of how teachers use entry tickets and exit tickets to establish clear routines for …
5 Ways to Give Your Students More Voice and Choicewww.edutopia.org/blog/five-strategies-more-voice-choice-students-rebecca-alber In this blog post, a teacher suggests strategies for engaging students by offering them opportunities to provide input and make choices about what they learn and how they communicate their learning. Recommendations include surveys to gauge student understanding as well as interest, invitations to choose topics of study and …
3-2-1 Bridgewww.visiblethinkingpz.org/VisibleThinking_html_files/03_ThinkingRoutines/03d_UnderstandingRoutines/321Bridge/321Bridge_Routine.html This thinking routine invites students to activate prior knowledge, ask and investigate their own questions, and make connections to deepen and consolidate their learning. It helps students build bridges between their thinking before and after a learning experience and can help teachers plan and facilitate instruction that is responsive …
Keeping It Relevant and “Authentic”www.edutopia.org/stw-assessment-authentic-relevant-lessons-video The teacher featured in this video highlights the relevance of what he is teaching, connects ideas, and engages students actively in learning. He designs tasks that invite students to synthesize and apply their understanding in real-world contexts. He anticipates challenges, monitors student work to check for understanding, and identifies …
The Big Ideas of Understanding by Designwww.ascd.org/publications/books/109107/chapters/Module-A.-The-Big-Ideas-of-UbD.aspx This book chapter describes an approach to designing curriculum, instruction, and assessments in which teachers plan backwards from what they want students to understand and be able to do and engage students actively in meaningful learning experiences involving inquiry and application of skills and knowledge in authentic contexts. This …
Thinking Big About Engagementwww.edutopia.org/stw-assessment-authentic-student-engagement-video The teacher featured in this video illustrates how he sparks and maintains interest and cultivates curiosity and inquiry through designing a project that engages students actively, creatively, and collaboratively in learning. He clarifies key concepts by highlighting their relevance and their connections to students’ experiences. He invites students to …
ICT Literacy Maps – P21www.p21.org/component/content/article/31-ict-literacy-maps These maps offer many illustrative examples of learning tasks that address 21st century skills along with other curriculum standards, providing a variety of ideas for using technology to engage students in learning. The maps suggest a multitude of ways to incorporate digital tools and resources into instruction that help …
Instruction | Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justicewww.tolerance.org/publication/instruction This resource describes instructional practices and strategies that foster engaging and challenging learning experiences for all students. These practices include promoting discussion, collaboration, and higher order thinking, as well as clarifying expectations and highlighting relevance. Recommendations address the value of incorporating student perspectives and the importance of considering classroom …
Think Pair Sharewww.visiblethinkingpz.org/VisibleThinking_html_files/03_ThinkingRoutines/03d_UnderstandingRoutines/ThinkPairShare/ThinkPairShare_Routine.html This thinking routine invites students to confer with each other about an open-ended, higher-order question to clarify and consolidate their ideas. The teacher poses a question and asks students to think about their responses individually, then explain their thinking to their partners, and finally share with the whole class …
Chalk Talknsrfharmony.org/system/files/protocols/chalk_talk_0.pdf This protocol invites students to silently share their thoughts and ideas about an open-ended prompt with each other through public writing. This powerful classroom routine engages students in sharing their thoughts, making connections, building on each others ideas, and deepening and extending their thinking, all without a sound …
CONSOLIDATE: REVIEWING AND SUMMARIZING
Teachers who consolidate help students integrate and synthesize key ideas. They summarize and make connections in ways that help students see relationships within and across lessons, remember ideas, and build understanding over time. Find resources offering classroom strategies that support the practice of consistently reviewing and summarizing content with students.