To assist students preparing for in-class test-style assessment tasks we have a focus in class and at home.
- We complete quizzes either online or on paper (one page maximum), usually about 5 questions. These are then either peer marked or if I have the time, I mark them. The key is that students should get feedback from this process.
- We typically complete a “Chapter Review” or “Diagnostic Test” at the end of a topic so that students can be aware of the content they are not confident in.
- Summary sheet – my students already have thorough notes, by completing theory booklets that I give them in class. I get my students to summarise these so that there is at most 1 page per topic. (I find the human brain can focus more readily on what it can see and not have to turn a page) When preparing for an actual task, they are to further summarise so that there is one page for a test. I tell my students to act as if they were creating a cheat sheet – they need to choose very carefully what to put on the page (This is a key learning process). Students then use this as a cover and check type study or cross things off as they learn them. I tell them to take a photo with eir phone so that they can print out a fresh copy when they need it.
- Past Papers – we make around 3 past papers available to student that I recommend they do under test conditions at home. They then mark this and hopefully work through and find the content that they do not know. I say hopefully as I do not check this and am fearful that a few students stop at having competed the test and may not even mark it themselves.
- Extra Revision – I point students to YouTube videos and KhanAcademy videos to review any small concepts that they are not sure about. It is a good idea for students to have someone different explaining concepts if they did not understand they way I taught it in the first place.
- Online quizzes – there are usually online quizzes that accompany the textbook, otherwise I direct students to KhanAcademy or sites such as Mathletics or MathsOnline if they have a subscription or create my own quiz on various sites
- I also make myself available to students if they want extra help, but I have a 36hour lockout rule here I won't give them assistance the day of the test or the day before. They should be studying in advance and not leaving it until the day before.
For the future
- I want to encourage my students to prepare notes of their own on a ongoing basis more than they have been so am thinking of establishing an A5 book for each of them to write notest for the week and review notes of the week before.