In a Year 11 lesson, doing some revision for a mock examination, one of my students mentioned that she had created a set of flashcards on Quizlet for the exact values of the trigonometric functions students are required to know for GCSE Maths. This resulted in a round of applause from the class – I am very pleased that so many students use flashcards.

How we learn is something I regularly discuss with my students. Retrieval Practice is so important for learning, we need to work out how to get information out of our students – not just how to put it in! From The Learning Scientistssee these valuable resources to support learning techniques including Retrieval Practice. Note the excellent downloadable materialson study strategies. Each strategy is backed up by research.

‘Ditch your highlighter and get busy with your flashcards’ as this article in Time, summarising the comprehensive report released on Jan 9th 2013 by the Association for Psychological Science concludes. The authors, led by Kent State University professor John Dunlosky, looked at various learning tactics and rated each from high to low utility.

The authors conclude that the most effective learning techniques are distributed study sessions (last minute cramming is not effective) and more practice testing, the use of flash cards can be very helpful with this.

I thought I would check Quizlet to see what is currently available for GCSE Mathematics. I noticed this for GCSE Foundation for example and another set for GCSE Revision; note that you can scroll down and see all the cards in the set. The quality clearly varies, I think I’ll get writing some sets myself to use in class – watch this space for more!