It happens without fail: I offer a “review” day where we quickly go over content before a quiz, then have everything printed and ready for the next day.
Students walk in on quiz day, and ask “Wait, can we review a few things before we start?”
It gets me every time. I had not planned for more review time, so I just have them go ahead with the quiz, and am disappointed by the scores (and so are they!).
It can be frustrating to try to plan a more effective review day that actually fits into the schedule.
There never seems to be enough time to cover everything, so it's important not to waste time with review days that are not productive.
It’s definitely time to focus in on only spending review time in ways that are effective based on how student brains actually process information! One of the best ways to review for tests is using doodle stickers. Students can really benefit from this easy-to-use memory-boosting tool. Kids can use doodle stickers to convert any page into a doodle note! They just cut out your pre-selected doodle stickers and stick on any sheet of paper.
Visual note-taking strategies have been shown to increase memory, help students focus, and build mental connections that stick. Interacting with the content in this way is a proven way to ensure the information will be retained!
At the start of class, group students in small study teams. Assign them a lesson or chapter to summarize. Offer them a variety of pre-printed doodle note sticker sheets, so they can choose the stickers that will best organize the content.
Then, they'll build a graphic note page that can serve as a study guide, but will be a great review of material on the test in the process.
By embellishing, labeling, and interacting with the note sheet, they'll build mental connections and remember the information. The activation of both brain hemispheres and the processes behind Dual Coding Theory will offer them the best study experience!
Learn more about the way our brains connect visual and linguistic information to build long-term memory here.
In addition to a study guide, graphic note sheets can make awesome classroom posters! Students can create visual study guides (with their own sketchnotes, guided note templates, or doodle note stickers) in a larger size! They can then become a reference guide on the wall for all to see. Here’s an easy step-by-step to print a poster using your regular printer and paper.
- Be sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader. If not, you can download it for free here.
- Go to File-->Print
- Click Poster
- Adjust the Tile %. If you change it from 100% to 180%, your document will print on four pages. You can see what it will look like in the Preview.
- Click Print, and voila! A poster for your classroom!
There are so many other creative ways to use doodle stickers in your classroom. For more tips and ideas, check out Interactive Visual Notes.
If using doodle stickers isn’t for you and your students or you just need a different, fresh idea, consider using these test review ideas!
Sticky Note Review
All you need are sticky notes and pre-made questions that are similar to the ones on the test! First, divide your class into small teams, and give each group some sticky notes and a sheet with the questions.
On the board, create large sections for each question, numbering them. Starting with the first question, give the groups a few minutes to solve the problem or answer the question. They must come to a consensus, and record their group’s answer on a sticky note; then, a group member will stick it on the board in the designated section.
Once all groups have stuck their answers on the board, discuss the results as a class. Did most groups find the right answer? Why or Why not? Continue with the following questions, and take note of any patterns you see and of student participation.
Bethany, from Teaching with Technology, shares 6 Tech-Based Review Activities to Try with Your Students. Most of them are super cool apps where you can easily input questions and answers to create a unique and engaging review game! Like Kahoot or Flippity.
You can find 3 Math Review Games to Get Students Moving at Maneuvering the Middle. I love all of the ideas, but my favorite is the Speed Dating game. You set up your classroom in rows of chairs facing each other. Expect plenty of awkwardness and laughter with this game!
Each student is assigned a problem, and is given time to become the “expert”, (This way they can help others when the time comes).
Students are paired up, and sit facing each other. They swap problems, show their work on whiteboards, and help each other if help is needed. When the timer goes off, one row gets up and moves a chair down for their next “date”!
Hopefully, some of these ideas will help make your test review time engaging and memorable for your students! What are your favorite review activities? We’d love for you to share in the comments below!