Practice/Self-Test Schedule and Procedure

Share Cognitive Science Implications for Teaching Mathematics
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Set aside a time each day (give yourself a break from the routine one day per week) for work with the Leitner Boxes.

  • More time will be required as we get deeper into the subject.
  • Same time each day is not required.
  • This is a thinking activity, with respect to thinking the brain cannot multitask.
  • Perform this task where there are no distractions. Concentrate!
    • no cell phones
    • no TV
    • no music
    • no conversations

For the Leitner Box session each day begin with the highest numbered box containing the label for that day. Note the boxes are numbered and also contain day of the week designations.


The following is an effective procedure for using Leitner Boxes to create low-stakes tests and to practice retrieval practice. Both are powerful learning strategies.

  • Start with the highest numbered box containing the label of the current day.
  • Take the cards out of the box.
  • Shuffle the cards and return them to the box.
  • Beginning with the front of the deck, take out the first card.
  • Read the term on the Side 1
  • Without looking at Side 2, WRITE your recollection of Side 2
  • If your answer is perfect.
    • Move the card to the next higher numbered box.
  • If your answer is not perfect,
    • Copy Side 2 of the card five times.
    • Concentrate on what you are writing.
    • Then place the card at the end of the deck in Box 1.

Repeat this process for the next lower numbered box containing the label for that day.
Continue until you have completed the process for Box 1.

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