Retrieval Practice and Daily Reviews

I’m a collector of research, good practice and learning. I apply what I learn to my own classroom to improve my teaching, and then support other teachers to improve theirs. I am constantly learning… how my classroom looked even a few years is very different to how I teach today. Whilst a lot of the pedagogical practices I have used are still effective, so much more has evolved. One of these practices that has really shifted as a result of my research into the work of Rosenshine and others is Retrieval Practice (and more broadly the Science of Learning). I came across retrieval practice on Twitter many years ago and tried it in my classes and my students really engaged with the practice, and so my interest deepened. Since then I have also engaged in the research behind the practice. I have been using various methods of retrieval now for years, but recently, after hearing Lorraine Hammond present at a conference, I have been specifically employing “Daily Reviews” with my Secondary students (Years 7-12). I purchased mini whiteboards and set some clear routines around timing, pair-share, and verbal responses. My students have jumped at this and love our Daily Reviews. They ask at the beginning of every lesson if they can get the whiteboards out (yes, even my 17 year old students).

If you haven't tried Daily Reviews, they are a type of retrieval practice where the main idea behind them is to support students to regularly review and access past learning in bite sized tasks. My daily reviews last only 5-10 minutes and my goal is to review the skills or content taught anywhere from the previous lesson, to the previous unit (for my senior students who have state exams at the end of the year). I don't keep marks or grades for these tasks, and I encourage students to verbalise their thinking as we progress. This may be in the form of a pair/share, elaboration of their answer, or all in response. I want it to be low stakes, and as a consequence it becomes a classroom routine all my students buy into without the fear of failing.

Some tips:

  • In spite of its name, Daily Review doesn't have to be every day (nor at the beginning of the day/lesson).
  • Repetition of activity styles or types is fine, you don't have to reinvent the wheel each time with a new activity (I create templates and recycle them regularly with my classes).
  • Retrieval Practices can work really well individually, in small groups or pairs, but from my research, Daily Review as a stand alone works best as a whole class activity.

Here are some examples I've use to engage my students in Daily Review - they are Humanities focused, but you can get the idea and adapt as needed to other subjects.


Keynote slide deck with blue background and a multiple choice question on it.
Multiple choice as Daily Review


Keynote slide deck with orange background and a vocabulary activity on it.
Daily Review of Key Terms


Keynote slide deck with 5x5 Grid containing 5 images.
Geography - Area Reference Daily Review


Keynote slide deck with an image of Augustus and a series of statements and tables.
Daily Review of Content

I've attached these templates below as a keynote to hopefully make doing a Daily Review a little bit easier. I love this pedagogical practice and it has definitely had a positive impact on how my students learn and retain their learning. I know I'm onto a winner when my students ask if they can get the whiteboards each lesson. 😁

I'd love to hear from others who utilise daily review or retrieval practice in your own classes? Which activities do you find most effective?

If you haven't tried it yet, give it a go and let me know how it works in your classroom.

If you want to learn more, I highly recommend the work of Rosenshine as well as Lorraine Hammond. For a really practical guide I recommend Kate Jones - she is an expert in Retrieval Practice and I have used her practical guide to get many ideas.


All Comments

Posted on April 01, 2024

Some great ideas for a range of age groups. Thanks for sharing! I teach Year 7, 8 and 12 this year and could put some of these mini activities in use for all of them. And yes, my Year 12s would enjoy using whiteboards, too! ;-) Thank you.

Posted on April 07, 2024

Thanks Tori. Happy to share other resources as I develop them. Hope you've had a nice weekend.

Maximum file size: 400MB

Insert a video

Insert an image

Insert an image

125: 125
220: 220

This action can’t be undone.

Error Message

Are you sure you want to continue? Your changes will not be saved.

This post contains content from YouTube.

If you choose to view this content, YouTube may collect and process certain personal data. You can view YouTube’s <a href="" target="_blank">privacy policy here<span class="a11y">(opens in new window)</span>.</a>

This post contains content from YouTube.

You’ve rejected content from YouTube. Tap the button below to change your consent.