My students’ minds have already checked into the beach resorts in exotic Panama City (Florida, of course), and only I can see the dark clouds of final exams looming on the horizon. They’ve had their alphabet soup of state exams, and they are finished.
On top of that, our county’s policy is that final exams are to count 20% of their overall grade. Testing, testing, and more testing, oh, my.
There is a faint ray of sunlight shining through those gray, gray clouds, however, and that’s the way we choose to review.
My students are over lecture, so I’m not attempting that. They love games, but they can’t approach them dry–they need review.
I’m trying something new this semester, and it seems to be working well so far. So here it is–Spring Survival Tip #2:
Have a Collaborative Review with Google Slides
In Google Drive, you can generate a Slides presentation, and assign it to the class so that “everybody can edit.” Assign each student, group, or pair a section of the curriculum to present and have them create a slide.
The slides will merge together automatically (since everyone is collaborating on it) into a presentation that everyone can use as a study guide and a presentation to share with the class preceding review games and that much dreaded exam. Here are the steps I’m taking to make it happen:
1. Create a rubric and checklist so that students know what you expect. Since I teach heavy content courses, I divide the individual assignments into units and give each pair a unit to complete.
3. Assign it in Google Classroom so that “everyone can edit.”
4. Schedule a day for everyone to share their slide as students take notes. I made a template for student notes so that they have a guide. The note template mirrors the Slides template, but they of course can just use notebook paper.
This activity combines technology with collaboration and refreshes students’ memories. I do it by unit in my courses, but it can also be done by skill for courses such as math and English.
How do you engage your students in review at the end of the year? Leave a comment below and let me know. And don’t forget to check back next week for Google Classroom Hack #1. And remember:
Teaching during the pandemic taught us a lot. I’ve been reflecting on that and this series, Reclaiming Education: What to Lose and What to Keep after the Pandemic is the result of those reflections. In this post, I discuss a way to lose Cookie-Cutter Learning in favor of a workable style of Personalized Learning and the importance of keeping deadlines. Don’t forget to download the templates from my free resource library to help you implement this approach!
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An occasional email from me to you about what’s new in secondary education…
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