Weekly Digest #40: Teachers' Implementation of Principles from "Make It Stick"

Weekly Digest #40: Teachers' Implementation of Principles from "Make It Stick"

The book “Make It Stick” by Peter Brown, Henry Roediger, and Mark McDaniel was published in 2014 and since then has become a widely-accepted source for teachers who aim at improving their teaching and help their students learn better. In the book, the authors introduce different learning principles from Cognitive Psychology. Concrete cases and examples are used to illustrate how the different strategies can be applied in the classroom. The question is: How do teachers use “Make It Stick” and lessons from it to inform their teaching? We have compiled a list of blogs by teachers who have written about “Make It Stick” and highlighted how they have used it in their practice. You will see that there are many ways to incorporate the book and its learning and teaching principles.


1) Teaching Cognitive Science by Dylan Kane, @math8_teacher

On his blog Five Twelve Thirteen, math teacher, Dylan Kane, discusses different ways how he uses principles from cognitive science to inform his teaching. After reading “Make It Stick”, he has restructured his classes to reflect the strategies highlighted in the book. He dedicated a couple of blog posts explaining how he accomplished that, but the linked source provides the best overview in our opinion. He also offers a document that summarizes the main points from the book.


2)  Make History Stick Part 1: principles by Michael Fordham, @mfordhamhistory

Michael Fordham is a history teacher who provides many useful recourses on his website, Clio et cetera, for teachers who are interested in developing their skills and improving their teaching. In part 1 of his Make It Stick series, linked above, he provides a summary of the lessons from “Make It Stick”. Make sure to also check out Part 2, where he gives concrete examples for how these lessons can be integrated into history teaching.

Photo by Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel

Photo by Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel


3) First Day with Make It Stick, Jo Boaler, and Plickers by Julie Reulbach, @jreulbach

Julie Reulbach (I Speak Math) is a math teacher and her way of using “Make It Stick” in the classroom is quite unique. Rather than only integrating different principles in her teaching, she explains how she has her students read parts of the book and have them decide which strategy they want to try out. We find this idea ingenious as it fosters self-regulated learning in students.


4) Make it Stick: The Student Brochure by Meg Craig, @mathymeg07

Meg Craig (Insert Clever Math Pun Here) is a math teacher and in this post blog she provides self-made handouts and posters for students that capture the essence of “Make It Stick”. Students can use these as guides and other teachers could print them out and display them in their classrooms. Meg drew our attention to a hashtag on Twitter used to discuss books with other teachers (#eduread). In summer 2015, she and other teachers discussed “Make It Stick” on Twitter. It’s worth checking out the chat that is archived on the “Teaching Statistics” blog by @druinok.

Image from linked source

Image from linked source


5) Make It Stick #TMC16 Presentation by Anna Vance, @TypeAMathLand

Anna Vance (Type-A Mathland), a math teacher, created this helpful PowerPoint presentation on “Make It Stick”. She also provides 10 Action Steps from Make It Stick that offer concrete ways to implement the lessons from the book.

Every Sunday, we pick a theme and provide a curated list of links. If you have a theme suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our 5 most recent digests can be found here:

Weekly Digest #35: Taking Care of Yourself

Weekly Digest #36: How to Raise a Bilingual Child

Weekly Digest #37: Teaching Spelling

Weekly Digest #38: Teaching Spelling with Deep Underlying Structures

Weekly Digest #39: Writing Strategies for Students