I competed in my first ½ Ironman Relay team last weekend, doing the 1.2 mile swim leg. Over the last few weeks, my teammates asked me for predictions about my swim finish time so that they could estimate our overall time. I had to synthesize my knowledge of previous race times, weather, fitness level and motivation to make my prediction.
Predicting is a process that holds great value for our brains. It improves curiosity, activates prior knowledge, and increases brain activity across multiple regions. (Curious about my finish time? Read to the end.*)
You can gain these benefits for your learners by using this simple strategy to encourage predictions in your training sessions.
1. Create a slide that has a book cover related to your content. This works especially well if you have designed your session around the book or if you have some copies to give away.
2. Ask everyone to take a few minutes to jot down their predictions for the book’s Table of Contents.
3. Show the Table of Contents and have participants compare their predictions. Discuss the similarities and differences.
I usually show an example first as part of the directions. Feel free to use this slide if you’d like. This activity usually takes about 10 minutes but could go longer if you wanted deeper conversation to occur.
*My prediction was off, but in my favor! I expected about a 39-minute swim and finished in 34 minutes. There was a river current that sped me along :)
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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