Precision Teaching is a simple but intense method of teaching aimed at helping a child to embed facts so that they can recall them and use them independently in class. It allows a high level of repetition of the facts to be learnt, and has been proven to accelerate progress. At Cranfield Academy we are using Precision Teaching to enhance known sight vocabulary, and key number facts.
Why use Precision Teaching?
Children vary in their rates of learning, how much they remember over time and in their ability to use these skills in new situations. Some children pick up skills incidentally whilst others need intensive adult support which involves breaking down the tasks into small steps and delivery through repetition or “over-learning.” Successful learning involves the acquisition of skills so that they are automatic, and can be remembered the following day – week –year. This process is called the Learning Hierarchy:
Children who have problems developing basic skills usually have difficulty with acquisition and / or fluency stages – so they cannot remember what to do to get it right, or they cannot do it fast enough to be able to do it automatically. This is what precision teaching aims to tackle!
What happens in a session?
- The facts to be learnt are presented one by one on flash cards e.g. five key words are targeted – you may have a shuffled pile of these words each repeated 6-7 times.
- The child “answers to” the flashcards in turn, reading each word. If the child answers incorrectly the adult provides the answer and asks the child to repeat the word to them.
- Repeat this process several times.
- The words are put face down on the table – the child is asked to select one at a time and read the words to an adult.
- Towards the end of the session a one minute test is completed with the child. This allows staff to see how many words the child is able to recognise in 1 minute. At this point the words the child has worked on in previous weeks are added to check for consolidation.
- The number of words the child got correct and incorrect is then recorded on a graph. This gives the child a visual picture of the progress they are making.
- This process is repeated every day. At the end of the week it may be decided that child has learnt these words. Some new words may then be selected and we also keep some of the familiar words for next week’s set of words