Teaching Tip Tuesdays: Knowledge Retrieval

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auditorium-benches-board-207691Welcome to the fall 2018 semester–and a new series that we are debuting for Drown Unbound. Every two weeks or so, I (Sarah HB) will be inviting graduate students and professors to share their favorite pedagogical approaches and teaching techniques for folks to try out in your English 1 classrooms and beyond. 

Please think of these posts as part of the ongoing conversation regarding teaching in our department. The goal of these posts is to facilitate continued growth and discussion regarding our pedagogical practices. We invite you to use these tips, adapt them for your classrooms, and please share the results in the comments below (or, write a blog post of your own reflecting on your experiences).

For the first installment, Adam Heidebrink-Bruno offers us a tried and true method of knowledge retrieval that encourages students to recap what the class covered during the previous session and serves as a segue to the current class discussion.

Opening Questions for Knowledge Retrieval:

Every time a student is required to retrieve previously acquired knowledge, they are more likely to remember it when they need that information in the future.


  • “Before we start, remind me of what we talk about last class?”
  • “Before moving onto the next unit, what are some of the theories and strategies from the previous unit that might continue to help us moving forward?”
  • “Before we discuss today’s readings, let’s go over the new terms that we learned in the last class.”

How do you open your classes? Do you use knowledge retrieval or have you found another method? Please feel free to share your own versions of opening class remarks below.

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