Supporting Your Students with Revision

At the time of writing, it is only February. I’m still making my way through the course but I am already beginning to think ahead to the end of the course and revision activities for my students.

One activity I recently carried out in a teacher workshop involved getting the teachers to familiarise themselves with the syllabus and their perceived strengths and weaknesses. If you like, they carried out an audit of the course. However, in order to carry this out we used a paper. The paper I chose was a Paper 2 but you could also apply the idea to paper. I think it would work just as well (maybe better?) with students rather than teachers.

The first thing I did was go through the entire paper, listing each individual question on a spreadsheet. Eg, Q1a(i), Q1a(ii), Q1a(iii) and so on. This was then shared with the participants and they were given the task of going through the entire paper, picking up on the particular syllabus statements covered in each individual question.

As you can imagine, it did take a while but it served a number of different purposes. It made the teachers aware of the types of questions and demands of the questions that the students would be asked in their final exams.

It also made teachers become more familiar with the syllabus. It made them actively go out and look for things. For example, they might be able to identify a question as being redox but was it HL or SL material? What exact part of the course was this covered in?

Once they had carried out this audit (and this part of the task could involve a collaboration as well) the teachers we asked to shade each of the excel spreadsheet cells one of three colours according to their confidence in teaching the material. Red cells meant it was a new topic to them, orange cells meant it was a topic they were aware of but not confident with and finally, green cells meant they were comfortable teaching a particular topic. This could easily be adapted for students.

A sample of the said spreadsheet is included below:

The result was a detailed document giving them a starting point on subject material they needed to work at. Of course, it was not the complete picture but it was a good starting point for them.

The activity could also be extended to Paper 1 to get more complete syllabus coverage but we didn’t have time to do this.

What do you think? Worth a try?

After reading this blog post, how do you carry out revision activities with your students? How do you approach things and what types of activates do you carry out? I’d love to hear about them, please feel free to share them below.

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