Automatization is the process of learning and assimilating a task or skill so completely that it can be consistently completed with little or no conscious attention.
Repetition and review (spiraling) are critical. Sometimes students appear to understand a concept, only to forget it a day, week, or month later. It is not until students have automatized a skill that they can effectively remember and use it as a foundation for new tasks. Teachers must therefore provide ample opportunities for students to repeat and review learned material. For example, the Landmark writing process emphasizes practice and consistency. Students always brainstorm, map/outline, draft, and proofread in the same way. This provides them with an ongoing, consistent review of learned skills.
“In language arts we use card-sorting and Go-Fish games daily and weekly to practice different parts of speech and grammar rules. This strategy utilizes several of Landmark’s Teaching Principles. It’s multimodal (#2), helps micro-unit the information (#3), and supports students’ practice and review (#4). Students are also forced to “figure it out,” which gets them to move beyond learned helplessness without even realizing it, because they are having fun!” —Kaleigh Mangiarelli, High School faculty