Helping Students Revise Knowledge

Marzano Model of Instruction DQ 3; Element # 20

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Learning Goal Target

Design Question 3: Help Students Practice and Deepen New Knowledge

Participants will be able to:

Understand Element #6: Helping Students Revise Knowledge

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Learning Goal Scale

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Teacher Focus

The teacher engages students in revision of previous knowledge by connecting errors and misconceptions as well as adding new information.

Desired Effect

Students make additions and deletions to previous knowledge that deepen their understanding.

Learning Activity Sequence


The teacher begins a new unit of content with a preview activity and follows that with an initial presentation of critical content chunk.


The teacher stops after a “chunk” to give students a task to do with a partner or group to process, elaborate on and record/represent their understanding of the new content. Ideally, the teacher will engage students to process/elaborate/record/represent their understanding between each new chunk of information.


Repeat the above cycle until all of the critical chunks of content for a lesson or unit are introduced.


Have students review the critical content chunks they learned in the previous lesson. Then, assign a content activity to help students deepen their understanding and/or practice skills, strategies, or processes. These activities are often more challenging and ongoing projects during which the teacher gradually releases control of learning to students. Purposeful homework may be assigned if appropriate.


Only after students have had adequate time to practice what they learned or deepened their understanding should they be expected to revise their knowledge.

6 Instructional Techniques to Help Students Revise Knowledge

1: Using the Five Basic Tools

  • reviewing prior understanding of content
  • identifying and correcting mistakes
  • identifying gaps in knowledge and filling in these gaps
  • deciding where to amend prior knowledge
  • explaining the reasons behind revising prior learning

2: Using Academic Notebooks

Interactive Notebooks

Interactive Notebook Student Samples

3: Using Content Vocabulary Notebooks

Vocabulary Notebook

4: Using Visual Tools

Graphic Organizers

5: Using Writing Tools

Cornell Notes

Using Sentence Starters

6: Using Homework Revision

Peer Review

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Moving from Traditional to Rigorous Classrooms

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Example Teacher Evidence

  • Teacher asks students to examine previous entries in their digital or traditional academic notebooks or notes to correct errors and misconceptions as well as add new information.
  • Teacher engages the whole class in an examination of how the current lesson changes perceptions and understandings of previous content.
  • Teacher has students explain how their understanding has changed.
  • Teacher guides students to identify alternative ways to execute procedures.
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Monitoring for the Desired Result

There are multiple ways teachers can monitor whether the majority of students are achieving the desired result of revising knowledge. Here are some ways to tell if your students are deepening their understanding through making additions and deletions to previous knowledge:

  • Students make corrections and/or additions to information previously recorded about content.
  • Students can explain previous errors or misconceptions they had about content.
  • Students demonstrate a growth mindset by self-correcting errors as knowledge is revised.
  • Student revisions demonstrate alternative ways to execute procedures.

Student Interview Questions

  • How did this lesson add to your understanding of the content?
  • What changes did you make in your understanding of the content as a result of the lesson?
  • What do you still need to understand better?
Element 20: Helping Students Revise Knowledge--Secondary
Element 20 Revising Knowledge
Marzano Element 20 Revising Knowledge