SAFMEDS instructions

Terrific post on Leitner boxes and flash cards at A Progressive Case for Classical Education. I’m inspired.

. . . as I prep lesson plans, I note the vocabulary, procedures (yes, you can have Ss recite the steps for long division, for example), and other facts they absolutely must know. On the first day of the unit, I have them write the item down on an index card and tuck it into the daily recitation section for them to practice. 

You can assign retrieval practice for homework, as a bell-ringer, as a time-filler for students who finish fast–whenever it works for your classroom schedule.

Retrieval for the Busy Teacher

Starting Thursday, I’m going to add SAFMEDS (not Leitner boxes) to my composition class. I have no idea whether Leitner boxes work better or more efficiently than SAFMEDS. They may. But if only because my class meets twice a week, having just 3 decks of flash cards (SAFMEDS), all of which every student does every session, seems more manageable than 5 decks of cards that require a spaced-repetition schedule.

I’m finally beginning to use SAFMEDS myself, by the way. It’s taken a while for me to get to it–it’s taken years–because until this very afternoon, I did not have a set of directions I could actually follow. Writing directions is hard.

This procedure from Rogue ABA is the most usable not to mention most logical procedure I’ve seen, and it’s what I’ll be using.

SAFMEDS = Say All Fast a Minute Every Day, Shuffled

3 thoughts on “SAFMEDS instructions

    1. I asked my students, last year, to memorize 5 basic principles of good writing — which are surprisingly difficult to hang on to. I myself frequently can’t recall all 5 ‘on demand,’ and all 5 are useful consciously, not just unconsciously, certainly at this stage of the game.


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