We, as educators and parents, know the extreme importance of regularly reviewing previously covered mathematical standards and concepts. With more than 30+ state standards for each grade level, there is an extensive amount of material that students need to retain.
However, aside from the initial instruction of a particular standard, how can we ensure retention across months, and more importantly, throughout the entire school year?
With increasing pressure for higher test scores, it is as imperative as ever that we make sure our students remember everything taught to them throughout the year in the hopes that they perform exceptionally well when needed.
The solution to the problem of retention is regular reviewing: Reviewing the standards. Reviewing the concepts https://argoprep.com/blog/k8/go-math-grade-1-vs-argoprep/. Reviewing the formulas. Reviewing the steps needed to solve each particular type of problem.
Unfortunately, from the students’ perspective, feelings of boredom, irritation, and annoyance can often arise. This is where our job plays a crucial role in making sure the review process is successfully implemented.
While teaching fifth grade for the past twelve years in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I know that whenever I have said “Let’s review some math!”, I was always greeted with mumblings and/or outbursts of “Ahhhhhhh!” or “Noooooooo!”.
From an educator’s perspective, this is hardly the type of reaction you want at the onset of an activity. For one, they are starting off with a negative attitude towards what you are presenting. Secondly, you will most likely not get their best work since they are largely unconvinced of the value of the assignment.
What is vital to keep in mind when approaching the topic of review is to make whatever you design engaging and fun. Regardless of the subject, topic or standard, think outside the box when creating review exercises.
For example, I created a regular math review activity for my class and my students absolutely love it!
In essence, they are half-page handouts that incorporate a variety of 10 math problems derived from the state standards that we have already covered together. But what makes them unique is that the problems are woven into specially designed, one-of-a-kind scenes. So each time the students get to experience a brand new one.
I’m not joking – my students truly love these review worksheets!
One reason why they enjoy them so much is because they don’t know what the next scene will be – an alluring beach, a peaceful countryside, an exciting carnival… the suspense is what generates the excitement!
I’m often asked, “Are we doing the math review today?” or “Mr. Gomez, let me see the next review worksheet please!”
Hearing this just makes me smile since these are all signs that the students are engaged and excited about what they’re doing: reviewing the math standards that we’ve learned.
In conclusion, regardless of how you tackle the topic of “review” for your class, never forget the importance of creating excitement and enthusiasm for your students. This will lead to a greater effort and focus from your students, and the activity will have a greater impact and benefit them more deeply, which is all we wanted in the first place.