timely practice's solutions to common problems of low attaining learners

timely practice was developed to help teachers improve the mathematical attainment of low attaining learners by working with the ways the human brain learns best.

You may wish to read these summary documents  ...

The problems 

Repeated retrieval practice 

A more tightly spiralled curriculum 


.... or you may prefer to read about each problem and solution in more detail

The following are problems that low attaining learners have - together with generic solutions and how timely practice enables teachers to make these solutions workable with groups and classes of low attaining, under-achieving and disaffected learners. To find more detail follow the link from each of the problems.


generic solution

how timely practice makes this workable

The solution to these two problems is what makes timely practice so effective in raising the attainment of low attaining learners. 

learning is soon forgotten

increasing interval retrieval practice

efficient learning: timely practice ensures that retrieval practice is efficient

teaching must be carefully pitched

teach in response to effective assessment for learning

efficient teaching: a more tightly spiralled curriculum +  timely practice means most teaching becomes embedded learning

In solving these two fundamental problems, timely practice also overcomes other teaching and learning problems that low attaining learners often have:

forgetting feedback

ensure feedback can be remembered

feedback triggers timely practice to reduce the interval between one practice and the next

require help to transfer skills

  1. more efficient learning and/or

  2. more teaching time

teaching and learning are more efficient, so there is more lesson time to teach learners to transfer their skills

scaffolding isn't faded

fade the scaffolding after the lesson

learners build their own scaffolding through practise of bite size pieces of learning

assessment for learning is difficult to achieve

collect accurate assessment for learning data

well presented accurate assessment for learning data and targeted resources makes time for assessment for learning

poor numeracy 

piecewise build numeracy skills 

find which facts and skills are mastered and which are missing, then teach learners the most fundamental first 

lack of motivation and focus

success creates motivation 

timely practice learners meet high success + they notice themselves learning

inability to create or use generalisations

generalising is possible after sufficient retrieval practice

repeated practice effectively increases working memory capacity, this enables learners to generalise