Don’t forget that all students need time for strategic review. This might mean for semester or final exams, or it might mean after a series of related lessons. When it’s time for review, don’t revert back to the “old way” of doing things — worksheet packets or a silent study hall. What students have accomplished in your High Performance Learning-Focused Lessons will give them just what they need to be successful with review. Think about all the “props” students have gathered throughout your lessons: graphic organizers, notes from Assessment Prompts, vocabulary activities, and other documents. Here are three quick and easy ways to review with students without having to spend a lot of time creating something new.
- Use your concept maps. Gather concept maps or content area anchor charts you used for a series of lessons and use them for review. Of course, all the details aren’t there, but students will definitely have an outline for review. They can quiz each other on answers to Lesson Essential Questions, relationships among concepts, or vocabulary terms.
Play games. After giving students a sense of what they need to review, games are a great way to go through the important details of a topic. For example, if you are using a Jeopardy format game to review for an exam, use Lesson Essential Questions as your category titles.
- Use those word walls! Instead of giving students another list of words they’ve already learned, give them a list of examples or applications of the term, then have them do something to show their understanding, such as completing this sentence: This word is an example of (the term) because ____________________.
- Collaborate with your colleagues to come up with even more ideas for review. Remember, cramming for exams won’t enable your students to remember all those details long-term any more than you can remember all the tidbits and trivia you had to memorize for exams. More importantly, using strong structured review strategies will help students leave your course seeing the bigger picture of what the course was about and having a better understanding of the major concepts of the lessons. Use the research-based Learning-Focused strategies you used when initially teaching new content to review it, and you will see that your students really “get it” and are reaching their highest potential with your help!
Do you have another fun and engaging way to review content with your students? Share your ideas below!