The words, “We will have a test” and “Make sure to study!” can bring anxiety to even the most academically strong student. But for the struggling learner, they can be so overwhelming that the first response is just not to study. Or the student will study to the best of their knowledge and still be unsuccessful. Testing will most likely never end, but how we prepare students for classroom testing can. And how and when students start preparing needs to be well before the night before the test.
After our daily lesson, students are given time to ask questions on their homework, have a concept reviewed or preview an upcoming topic from one of their classes.To avoid the ever common slogan in previous years of, “I have no homework,” we implemented this past year #teamAC review activities.
These activities allow students to take information they have learned from one if their classes and review the material in various ways to help learn and retain what they have been taught. The activities are designed around lessons we have covered in class such as how to make flashcards or quizlet.com, acronyms, creating practice problems for themselves, using chapter reviews, rhyming and many more. When students come to class and don’t have any homework questions, they take out their review sheets and pick an activity. For an incentive, each review part is assigned a point value. Once students reach 50 points, they can chose a reward such as a free iPod time or a treat as well as we provide them with a review activity certificate.
These straightforward review lessons have given students more ways to work with information. And the great part is they experience many different ways to manipulate the material, allowing them to learn for themselves how they best study. And all of the review Activities can be done at home too. Once students become stronger with the material, we move them to studying together with a partner as well as small group review sessions.
Consider the next time you tell your students, “Don’t forget to study!” that many students might not even know how to do that. Instead, consider ways to integrate review tasks into your class to teach these skills.