Final Revision

That quote from Robert Collier seems so appropriate when it comes to revision. This academic year I have used the day in, day out approach even more with my students, frequently reviewing earlier work even for short sessions. I am convinced this is important in our teaching and help makes things stick for our students.

Once again we are in the final run up to examinations, so I checked the various revision resources I have highlighted on this blog earlier this year and created a series of revision pages which I hope makes resources easier to find. I have recently updated these again. Before mentioning the resources though we should think about how best to use them.

The first page ‘Highlighting is a waste of time’ links to what I believe is a very important report on how students learn effectively; having used testing – even very short ‘self checks’ as they have come to be known in my classes I am convinced like the authors that this is very effective and we will be using testing in our revision classes, often short with immediate feedback so students can see if they can recall and apply information. Earlier this academic year when I asked my Year 9 students about good Maths teachers, one said:

A teacher who provides the student with the opportunity to see what they need to revise. Regular tests and quizzes do this.

So before we worry about amazing revision resources we must consider how we will use them so our students learn effectively. According to the report the two learning strategies with the highest utility are distributed study sessions (last minute cramming is not effective) and practice testing.

Interestingly, interleaved practice: though rated as just moderate utility gets a special mention for students’ learning and retention of mathematical skills. William Emeny has written on this see this post and a follow up on Great Maths Teaching Ideas.

So bearing these learning strategies in mind, many of the resources found on the series of revision pages could be used as mini tests with immediate feedback or several topics mixed up within a lesson and perhaps the trickiest topics revisited several times over the last weeks, even if briefly.

The revision activities can be found on the series of revision pages:

There have been recent updates, in particular to the examination questions page. I will certainly be using all the resources I have mentioned on that page. Resources in the collection allow for a mix it up approach but also provide examination questions by topic. A huge thank you to the teachers who so willingly share their resources – you are helping students everywhere. Correct attribution has been given wherever possible with the resources.

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Wishing teachers and students everywhere a successful final revision period.