When the term “revision” is used in the field of academics, it simply means going through the entire academic content once again via reading, understanding, and studying the same lesson, yet again. One of the primary purposes of revision in academics is that it helps children retain their lessons learned and in a manner that it can stand through the tests of time.
Educational communities are now far better placed to support students with their revision activities. We each carry around different ideas of what revision is. For some, revision could mean highlighting large amounts of text and re-reading the same paragraph multiple times. The art and science of studying independently has helped us understand the various activities that enable students to effectively understand and recall important information.
A successful approach to revision needs to be deeply rooted in subject knowledge so that it can be sustained over time. Teachers therefore, need to explicitly teach the strategy, model it, and offer guided practice before expecting students to use them effectively.
Some of the revision strategies we use at Nalapad Academy include the following;
The tried and tested method of quizzing is an ideal vehicle to get students to self-assess. It has proven to be a robust revision strategy that works well across different grades and subjects.
- Students can calibrate their knowledge and remember what they have learnt.
- There are various types of quizzes such as short answer quizzing, multiple choice, or a hybrid of the both; with different question types suiting different purposes.
- Use of tech tools like Kahoot and Quizizz further help with revision of certain concepts.
In our Grade 1 class, our science facilitator used this technique effectively when she had an impromptu quizzing session with children on the ongoing topic of living and non-living things. Not only did our children have a great time answering questions and competing with each other, but revised the topic without getting bored.
French requires a lot of speaking practice and our French facilitator uses this technique extensively across all primary classes. This helps our students with accurate pronunciation of words.
2. Graphic organisers.
Students need to be active during their revision. It may not be sufficient to do so while reading their notes and coloring significant parts of their lessons with a rainbow of highlighters. Graphic organizers are a handy vehicle to help students with reconstructing their revision topics to further make meaningful links and connections. Some of the graphic organizers we use at Nalapad Academy are:
- Mind Maps
- Quick write/ Quick draw
- Cluster Web
- Facts and Opinions
- Hamburger Paragraph Graphic Organizer
- Concept wheel
- 5W’s 1H
The students of Grade 5 used the Quick Write/Quick Draw Strategy to reflect on their knowledge of the polygon; the triangle, its base, height and area. They promptly wrote all the details of the topic. This strategy gave the students the opportunity to reflect upon their learning. It further enabled them to enhance their understanding of the topic.
3. Cornell note-taking.
Another strategy that utilizes the ‘generation effect’ is the well-known note-taking approach; the Cornell method. Named after the US university, this strategy gets students thinking metacognitively, asking questions, noting key terms, and summarizing the content being revised.
4. Exam wrappers.
This helpful feedback strategy is labeled ‘exam wrappers‘ because they wrap around information on how the student has revised, and offer important information for the teacher to help diagnose how effective, or extensive (or not), revision has proven. Here is a template for the same:
5. ‘Just a minute’
A long time favorite strategy, ‘Just a Minute’ takes the classic radio game and adapts it to almost any topic, text, or revision term. Put simply; students have to talk for a minute on the given term/topic – no pauses, no hesitations. Slips, repetitions, or/and micro pauses lose a ‘life’ – three strikes and you’re out. In short, if one can elaborate on a topic and explain it well, one has retrieved it from memory – a good revision act – as well as, more likely to be consolidated.
In a grade 8 class, when the Math facilitator wanted to start a new chapter- “Record, organize, and represent data ”, she asked the students to give her a list of different ways to display or represent the data in ‘Just a Minute’. Our students recalled and spoke about the topic in a minute. They not only revised what was done previously, but further set a tone for the current class.
In a grade 4 class, the Hindi facilitator completed a lesson on ‘My Garden’. A speaking activity was conducted, where children were asked to speak a few simple sentences on the topic in Hindi in ‘Just a Minute’. Students not only got a revision of the topic but they used new adjectives to describe the garden.They thus used new words which enhanced their vocabulary in the language.
6. Link and Story Method
The Link Method is one of the easiest mnemonic techniques available. One uses it by making simple associations between items in a list to link them with a vivid image containing all the items.
7. Solve word Problems
PAWS- This mnemonic helps to organize the thought process. It can be used to revise any topic or concept.
P – Identifying the Problem- Keyword
A- Analysis, which helps to devise steps that help one to solve the problem.
W-Work it out by implementing the steps.
S- Identifying if the problem is solved.
This strategy was used in our French class where key words were identified and our students were encouraged to analyze them. The proper usage and meaning was re-explained to our students when they needed clarification. They understood how to make meaningful sentences using these keywords. This strategy helped our children to understand the nuances of the language.
Such revision strategies are a game changer in the education industry today, as it moves away from the traditional to more innovative approaches that give all children an opportunity to successfully remember their concepts.