I have to admit I spend a lot of time thinking about different methods to help my students learn. I also have to admit that some of my ideas are more successful than others (cutting up a 3 page exam answer and having my students put it into the right order did not go down well!). Occasionally I have a brain wave: this is one of them.
Let me put it into context: when I was a student I remember spending a lot of my time revising, pounding the pavements going over my rewritten class notes in my head. Whenever I forgot a name or argument I could still picture where it was written in my notes – just not what it said. Reflecting on this as a teacher I thought that maybe some of my students may think like me – that is, remember ideas based on the placement of them on a sheet of paper. And what’s more, I started to think, wouldn’t it be great if everything they needed to achieve the A* could be found all on one organised sheet. (See post Going for Gold: Achieving that A* for more tips on how to achieve top marks).
This A3 sheet, comprising of a selection of boxes and shapes, is used in conjunction with my power points (see SlideShare). Basically each power point is broken down into boxes, so a key thinker might have their own box, a specific (yet very important) point/ argument might get its own box, strengths and weaknesses are separated into different boxes etc.
This shows a few slides of my power point and the corresponding A3 sheet. (As you can see most slides have their own box but because Aquinas presents 3 definitions of miracles I have split these into separate boxes)
My students highlight the key words throughout to emphasize them further. Often students like to vary their colours so that strengths are one colour, weaknesses another. This sheet enables the students to adapt it to their own style.
A completed final sheet looks like:
Once my students have completed it they then highlight which areas are the must know C grade minimum:
You can very easily design your own sheets using boxes, as all you need to do is pick out the key names and arguments and separate them according to how you would understand them.
Why is this my student’s Revision ‘Secret’ Weapon = it works!
See Post ‘Oh I need to Revise!’ Top Revision Tips for more help and useful tips.
To see the coveralls in action, check out my live revision podcast on YouTube.
To view all available teacher and student materials click on: R.S Resources. This digital goods store will allow you to quickly and safely download all materials (for a small charge). These include PowerPoints, lesson packs (with all worksheets and activities) key knowledge test packs (with answers), essay writing skills pack, revision packs and much more. I am always uploading new materials (as and when I cover them with my students) so it is worth checking regularly. These are all the materials I use with my own students, so they are tried and tested and available for you to download, keep and adapt over the years.