Guessing into mastery

posted Sep 7, 2014, 5:43 AM by Michael Schoeffler   [ updated Sep 7, 2014, 5:58 AM ]
Playing it smart?

Brick City Thinks kids learn a little backwards - guess first and then study. 

Decode a new subject without needing help? Wonderful. You just saved yourself a boatload of time. 

Guessed your way to success? No problem - we'll automatically uncover the gap before it becomes a problem. My fifth-grade daughter proudly "found" the right answers on converging sequences this week. 

But what if you need help learning the subject? Studies show guessing first helps you learn deeper and faster. Thinking through the question primes your brain to know what you're aiming towards. You not only consider the right answers, but you think deeply about the wrong answers too. Scientists believe pre-testing increases your knowledge 10%.

Normal classrooms aren't built for guesswork. Building extra tests takes extra time. And teachers can't handle kids skipping ahead anyhow. Educational websites excel at pre-testing because they use many questions on the same subject.

But if you want to really take advantage of this technique, don't stall out. Guess, learn, test yourself - one after another. This method works better if you don't wait for the lesson.

Good software gives you the lessons right when you need them. Need help? Take a hint. Videos at your fingertips translate into knowledge - right then and there.

So go ahead and take a guess. It's smarter than you think.