What is your best review strategy for exams and other assessments?
Lauralee,The Language Arts Classroom: I have students make the review sheet. The class period before review day, I ask students to write a few pointers. I add those to my review lesson (incorporate them somehow, even if they were already on my notes) and emphasize that that is what a student brought to the review.
One review strategy my students enjoy most involves a flip from verbal-linguistic intelligence where words abound, to engage their visual-spatial intelligence where images thrive.
Here’s how it works. They sketch ideas facts or numbers into simple pictures as they review for the test. These can be very rough drafts for less artistic learners. Students ensure their images remind them of key facts they wish to remember for a test and can share these with a peer as part of the review process.
Once the test begins – they re-sketch their rough draft from memory onto the test (or question) paper. Now they refer to it as a trusty guide to write related facts into test answers. It’s a fun way to remember and it offers a valid cheat sheet to assist the brain, by simply outsourcing facts to be easily remembered.
Kimberly, OC Beach Teacher:
Depending on the type of assessment, I have a variety of review strategies. Often I will play games before students take their vocabulary tests, which we have every two weeks. Sometimes we play bingo. It’s easy because I just give the students a blank bingo board to fill with their vocabulary words in any random order. Then I read definitions, synonyms, and antonyms and they just mark their board with whatever symbol (star, smiley face, etc.) we have chosen. We usually do several games.
If I have more time, I will play a game of Vocabulary Baseball with my students. I post bases around the classroom so that students can move to the appropriate base when they advance. I divide the class into two teams and they choose a “batting” order. As each “batter” has a turn, he or she chooses a single, double, triple, or home run after I have chosen a random vocabulary word. The student is required to give a definition, synonym, antonym, or use the word correctly in a sentence depending on the challenge he or she has selected. As each new batter has a turn, teammates advance one another around the bases to score. At the end of the game, the team with the most runs wins.
No matter what game we play, students are usually engaged and the practice helps them to be successful on their tests!
Jackie, Room 213: When I assess my students, I want them to do more than regurgitate facts, so exam review needs to be about much more than simple memorization. I expect them to understand the ideas presented in their texts, so they can use higher order thinking skills to apply and synthesize their knowledge. I also want them to be able to demonstrate the skills they have learned and honed through-out the semester. In short, I don’t have a traditional exam review, where I lay out all that I want them to “know” for the exam. We focus on a series of activities that remind them of the important elements of our texts, and of the skills they have learned. These activities also activate the thinking skills they will need to do well on the assessment.