Tuesday, 6 May 2014

GCSE revision that REVIVES! (Updated March 2015)

Are you losing the will to live in your final lessons with Year 11? Join the club. Here are a couple of the more creative strategies I've tried to use to fan the flames of the flagging in the final days before E-day.

Note: the vast majority of these are not my ideas! They are ones that have been magpied from a variety of sources including many awesome Twitter users like @siancarter1 and @englishlulu, as well as members of my fantastic Faculty like @mrszshah and @missrcapper.

Knowledge Vomit

A good way to ascertain your starting point for revision, the 'knowledge vomit' challenges students to splurge out everything they know on a topic in the grossest way possible.

I've seen this done really well on desks, floors, windows etc. - just make sure you use chalk pens or NON-permanent markers!

Quality Revision (get it?!)

OK, not every student has a smart phone, but in this era of marginal gains if you get three or four more students revision I'll take that as a win.

Just whack a hyperlink - Youtube video, website, Dropboxed document etc. - into a free online QR code generator like http://www.qrstuff.com/ to make your QR codes. Then, copy and paste them into a Word document (I recommend using a table to keep them in neat little rows) to turn in a worksheet or poster. I've stuck ours up  at A3 postersin rooms frequently used for revision and given out A5 versions for exercise books!

Twister and Shout

I've had this germ of an idea for a while. I want to use it as a way of revising GCSE anthology poems, but I'm sure it could be adapted for anything where students need to make links.
In my version, they write the names of the poems across each of the coloured dots. They then take it in turn to spin the spinner to identify the finger they need to use and then use it to link to the poems, explaining the similarity or difference they're identifying. This could be a theme, idea, language technique, the tone, or structure. If they can't go (either because they can't see a link or their fingers won't stretch) they lose the round and their opponent scores a point.

You can nab an editable version of the play board and spinner from my Dropbox
Feeling brave? Why not try the whole body version (using same sex pairings) with the this online spinner.

Revision cubes

Use these how you want! To generate questions, prompt individual or group responses, as the start of a mind map...

You can find the ones I have made here:
GCSE English Language
Poetry anthology
'An Inspector Calls'
'Of Mice and Men'

Mind pegging

'Peg' what needs revising to something memorable like their bedroom, house our journey to school. Simples.

Student-created revision guide
My favourite incarnation of this was the 'William Golding's Guide to Life' I created at my last school. I divided students into groups and gave them a subject e.g. 'Friendship', 'Adolescence', 'Food', 'The Environment'. They then had to work together to write from the point of view of the author about these topics. What they produced was creative, witty and insightful. I'll try to dig it out when I get a second...

Here is a simple proforma for a stripped down 'An Inspector Calls' version and an example.

Stick or twist tasks

Whack some revision tasks in a bucket or bin (preferably clean). Students choose one and if they don't like it get to 'twist' by choosing another one - just once though! Will they risk choosing a harder one...?

You can find the writing tasks I use here:
'Stick or twist' writing tasks

Snakes and ladders
Gah! Just realised I haven't photographed these! Students basically were given the grid and added revision questions to the squares then swapped and played the games. I'll add the grid to my Dropbox soon.

Spider web analysis

Great for any revision that requires students to make connections. Whack what needs comparing around the legs of a desk, add strings with blu tack for the link, wrap around a post it to add explanation.