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Daily Review Tips and Techniques

Making Daily Review a Priority

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When I first began teaching, one of my mentors told me that they felt the most important thing a teacher could do everyday was review. She told me to take the first five minutes of class and go over the information from the day before. This seemed like common sense to me. I remembered the teachers that I really learned from doing this often. However, she also told me to review the LAST five minutes of class, that which was learned during the day. Of course, as a new teacher, overwhelmed with everything else, the easiest thing to forget was the review. Sometimes I'd remember at the beginning. I'd always review before exams. But at the end? Never.

A few years passed, and I had luckily been teaching the same subject during that time. I found myself with extra time some days when previously the same lessons had taken me to the very last moment of class. I chalk this up to easier times with classroom management. I'm sure each of us can remember how big a deal classroom management was in the beginning! Heck, just dealing with late work was sometimes more than I could handle. But the years brought wisdom and time. What to do with the last 3-4 minutes of class with which I was now presented. Allow the students to talk amongst themselves, begin their homework, start the next day's lesson. I was in a quandary until I remember that wonderful teacher's advice. And I tried it. And the amazing thing is, IT WORKED.

Incorporating Daily Review

I have to say, I'm now converted. Please don't believe that I review at the end of class everyday. I can't always find the time. But I have found, that this review combined with a similar review the next day is so reinforcing that students test scores have even gone up. I can't believe that something so simple makes such a difference, but it does. The kids have to remember the beginning of class at the end, and the whole class the next day. So what advice can I give to someone who is going to try daily reviews?

  1. Ask simple direct questions to test the basic knowledge of the students. Need help on questioning skills? Here is a useful article.
  2. Provide hints for upcoming tests to keep students interested.
  3. Give participation points for those students who answer questions during reviews.
  4. Don't kill yourself over this one, just keep it short and sweet--pick the most salient points.
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