As a professional learning task this year our principal asked that we explore Close the Achievement Gap (from the In a Nutshell series, Hawker Brownlow). I led the discussion on Chapter 4: Revisit! review! reteach! revise!. The chapter explores the concept of ‘leaving nothing to chance’. For me it was a recognition that I had been leaving revision to chance.
So this year I have consciously revisited, reviewed, retaught and revised. I discovered that a quick quiz at the end of a lesson or a week later was a powerful learning tool, that there are lots of different ways to improve recall, that they have to know the story of a Shakespearian play really well to understand anything else about it, that kids need serious memory training and that ‘re-teaching’ needs to be programmed explicitly.
With this aim in mind I have been working on a ‘jeopardy’ game using a ‘flipchart’ on Yeats’ poetry and ‘memory’ games on key words and concepts.
I used a ‘memory’ game on language devices with year 10 who are in the final preparation stage for their SC Literacy test. Who would think that a simple memory game (turning cards over and matching a device with an example) would generate so much enthusiasm from a bunch of Year 10 boys? The whole group of boys became totally involved in the game shouting instructions to the kids whose turn it was at the board. Amazing! Then they wanted to play another one!