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. 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. (This is for old spec Miracles but still demonstrates how the coveralls are used.)
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!
To see a coverall in action check out this Revision Podcast on Religious Language(using the ppt found on YouTube) whilst a student makes notes on a coverall sheet:
If you would like access to all 30 revision podcasts then join I Think Therefore I Teach’s exclusive membership on the Home page. Here you will also have access to Mark with Me videos where I go through top mark exam answers, Tired Teacher videos which support essay technique and exam preparation and the Discussion Forum for all your questions.
See Post ‘Oh I need to Revise!’ Top Revision Tips for more help and useful tips. Also Preparing for the Finish Line: Revising New Spec and Messages from Above: OCR Updates for more specific insights into the spec.
There are a lot of revision resources designed for the new spec in the shop, including Revision Packs, Key Knowledge Tests and Activities. Just click on the image below to be transferred:
Revision Guides: (for a review of these guides go to Revision Guides: Which ones are worth your money?)