Instructional
interventions need to address targeted skills and:

- Be explicitly taught,
- Address appropriate level of instruction and challenge,
- Offer high opportunities to respond successfully,
- Provide immediate feedback.

Flash cards are a common
strategy for helping students. However,
too often flash card strategies are used incorrectly or haphazardly. Ideally, professional development in these
approaches can become part of every district's home-school professional development protocol.
There are actually three research-based
approaches for using flash cards:

- Traditional Training;
- Interspersal Training (Drill Sandwich);
- Incremental Rehearsal.

**: 100% unknown facts/words**

__Traditional Training__
Procedure:

- Set of cards shown to student one at a time with instructor giving correct answer and student repeating fact/word and answer
- Set of cards shown again with student respondingCorrect response: acknowledge with positive feedbackIncorrect response: overcorrection and immediate feedback

- Set repetition based on time and student achievement (8 trials typical

**: Typically 30% unknown to 70% known facts/words**

__Interspersal Training__
Procedure:

- Unknown facts/words read and answered by instructor with student repetition
- Intersperse the unknowns with the knowns in an order such asK1-U1-U2-U3-K2-U1-U2-U3-K3 -U1-U2-U3-K4-U1-U2-U3-K5 -U1-U2-U3-K6-U1-U2-U3-K7-U1-U2-U3-

- Set repetition based on time and student achievement (8 trials typical)Correct response: acknowledge with positive feedbackIncorrect response: overcorrection and immediate feedback

**: 10% unknown to 90% known**

__Incremental Rehearsal__
Procedure:

- Unknown fact/word read and answered by instructor with student repetition
- Rehearse the unknown with the known in specific order
- 1
^{st}Unknown – 1^{st}Known - 1
^{st}Unknown – 1^{st}K – 2^{nd}K - 1
^{st}Unknown – 1^{st}K – 2^{nd}K – 3^{rd}K - 1
^{st}Unknown – 1^{st}K – 2^{nd}K – 3^{rd}K – 4^{th}K - 1
^{st}Unknown – 1^{st}K – 2^{nd}K – 3^{rd}K – 4^{th}K – 5^{th}K - 1
^{st}Unknown – 1^{st}K – 2^{nd}K – 3^{rd}K - 4^{th}K – 5^{th}K -6^{th}K - 1
^{st}Unknown – 1^{st}K – 2^{nd}K – 3^{rd}K - 4^{th}K – 5^{th}K -6^{th}K– 7^{th}K - 1
^{st}Unknown – 1^{st}K – 2^{nd}K – 3^{rd}K - 4^{th}K – 5^{th}K -6^{th}K – 7^{th}K – 8^{th}K - 1
^{st}Unknown – 1^{st}K– 2^{nd}K– 3^{rd}K- 4^{th}K– 5^{th}K-6^{th}K– 7^{th}K– 8^{th}K– 9^{th}K - Move 1
^{st}Unknown to 1^{st}Known position – Remove 9^{th}Known – add 2^{nd}Unknown

Repeat set with each targeted fact/word moving 1

^{st}unknown to the 1^{st}known position and removing the 9^{th}known
Correct response:
acknowledge with positive feedback

Incorrect response: provide
immediate correction

Basic, foundational skills must be acquired before attainment of more complex concepts and higher order thinking skills. Students who do not have automaticity with basic skills struggle to stay “on grade level” and maintain interest. Failure to attain these basic skills negatively effects overall academic competency. For Math, basic skills include operation and numeration facts. For reading, basic skills include phonemic awareness and sight words. One approach for increasing basic skills is the effective use of flash cards as an intervention to increase student’s automaticity. For example, when done well, flash card interventions can be effective with:

- Improving sight word fluency
- Mastering basic math facts
- English language learners

To
cite:

Anderson,
C.J. (April 30, 2017) Approaches to Using Flash Cards for Skill Development.

*[Web log post]*
Retrieved from http://www.ucan-cja.blogspot.com/

References:

Burns,
M. (2005). Using incremental rehearsal
to increase fluency of single-digit multiplication

facts with children identified
as learning disabled in mathematics computation.

*Education and Treatment of Children, 28*, 237-249.

Burns,
M. (2009). Interspersal technique and
behavioral momentum for reading word lists.

*School Psychology Review*,

*38*, 428-434.

MacQuarrie,
L., Tucker, J., Burns, M. & Hartman, B. (2002). Comparison of retention rates

using traditional, drill
sandwich, and incremental rehearsal flash card methods.

*School Psychology Review, 31,*584-595.

Nist,
L. & Joseph, L. (2008).
Effectiveness and efficiency of flashcard drill instructional methods

on urban first-graders’ word
recognition, acquisition, maintenance, and generalization.

*School Psychology Review, 37,*294-308.