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What is Chunk-Chew-Check?
This three-part strategy provides students with time to process information and then demonstrate their learning. This is a small group activity.
Why use it?
- To provide students with opportunity to process and make sense of new information.
- To prevent students from becoming overcome by a large amount of information coming at too quick a pace.
- To help students connect new information with information already in their long term memory.
- To provide teachers with immediate information that allows for differentiation throughout the learning process.
How do I use it?
- Chunk stage: As part of the lesson planning process, identify places where new information can be broken into smaller “chunks”.
- Plan to present each chunk of new information in a maximum of 10-12 minute blocks. During this time, students will listen, take notes, etc. as they normally do.
- Chew stage: At the end of each block of instruction, provide students with opportunities to “chew” or process the new information.
- The processing strategies employed, and the subsequent “chewing” time, will vary depending on the type of processing strategy used. For example,
- 30 seconds reflection on how the information is relevant in the real world
- 2-3 minutes for a think-pair-share
- 5 or more minutes for writing or sketching related to the new information
- 10 minutes or more for small group activity
- Other CurioCity learning strategies that allow for processing of new information include:
- Check stage: Either during the processing period, or at the conclusion, teachers should assess students’ understanding of the chunk of new information. This stage also allows for student self-assessment and peer-assessment.
- The type and depth of assessment strategy employed will depend on the amount of new information that is being assessed and the purpose of the assessment (formative or summative). For example, teachers could
- make observations of students’ ability to work with the new information
- provide or ask specific students for clarification as necessary
- ask students to reflect on what they have learned and what is still unclear
- ask directed questions relating to the new information
- have students create a product/assignment that will be formally graded, etc.
- The CurioCity learning strategies listed above may be used to provide assessment data.
Tips for success
- For younger students (12-14) aim for 10 minute or shorter chunks of new information.
- Provide opportunities for individual, partner and small group processing activities.
- Vary the length of information chunks depending on student ability levels and difficulty of content being taught. Students with weak language skills such as ELL/ESL learners will benefit from smaller chunks and longer processing/chewing time.
- Include a “challenge” stage prior to the processing (chew) stage in which specific questions or tasks are provided to guide students to think deeper about the new content.
- Include a “chat” stage after the processing (chew) stage to provide students with opportunity to express their emerging understanding of the content, practice using the language of the new content, and to hear the ideas and understanding of peers.
- Where a “chat” stage is included, allow students to make use of electronic means of sharing their ideas via texting or tweeting.
- Students could create a blog post as part of both the “chew” and “chat” stages.
- Select specific CurioCity learning strategy BLMs for deeper teacher review, comments and/or grading.
- Provide opportunities for peer review or assessment of individual processing (chew stage) work.
ASCD. Road Tested / Chunk-Challenge-Chew-Chat-Check. Accessed December 16, 2016 from http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education_update/jun15/vol57/num06/Chunk-Challenge-Chew-Chat-Check.aspx.
Marana Unified School District. Strategies for “Chunk and Chew”. Accessed January 6, 2016 from http://www.maranausd.org/DocumentCenter/View/35110.
Marzano, R. (2009). The art and science of teaching: Helping students process information. Educational Leadership. Vol 67(2), pp. 86-87.
Mather, E. (2015). Road Tested / Chunk-Challenge-Chew-Chat-Check. Education Update. Vol 57(6), p. 7. Accessed January 6, 2016 from http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education_update/jun15/vol57/num06/Chunk-Challenge-Chew-Chat-Check.aspx.