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Morning of the exam - revision session

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by nuts88, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. I am a new teacher and have been asked to produce material for a 3 hour revision lesson on the morning before the afternoon exam. The group are C/D borderline, some entered for Higher and some for the Foundation Edexcel.
    Does anyone know of any "ready-made" lessons online that I could use? With it being quite a mammoth session, I could do with a variety of tasks to keep them entertained!
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. That's a tough one and it seems a bit of a rough deal for the whole thing to fall on one person.

    There was a thread on here a little while back on revision with lots of good ideas so you might like to have a look at that.

    Something things that I've seen work well (and are quick to prepare) are the following:

    Maths relay race where you divide the class into teams, give them a question at a time, they get two chances to get it correct. Having the desks at one end of the room means they do have to dash to collect their next questions. It's basically an exam paper chopped up so you can prepare than in less than twenty minutes. (Before anyone has a go at me, this isn't my usual teaching style but this does work surprisingly well in this context.)

    Another thing that is quick to prepare is a little memory game. Make an A3 sheet with key facts about a topic written on. You can do this by hand, don't waste time on the computer. Do one for about half a dozen topics. Pupils work in teams of four or five and come out to the desk one person from each team at a time. They look at your sheet for about 30 seconds and have to remember as much of it as possible. They go back to their table, try and reproduce the information on their own sheet. Next person comes out and so on until everyone has had a go.

    You will easily get an hour or so out of those two activities.

    If you want some things to use with mini-Whiteboards, the ever trusty APP Maths Toolkit has loads of topics that are covered at KS4 and the slides are brilliant for getting a quick snapshot of how pupils understand a topic, the diagrams are beautifully clear, plus there are loads of matching exercises (or you could make a few on Tarsia).

    Hope at least some of that is helpful and all of those things can be prepared very quickly.
  3. Sorry I dont agree with looking for an off the shelf generic plan.
    Are they your pupils?
    I dont believe in revision sessions in a formal setting before exams as a group as so many kids say "OOOHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh I am never going to remember that" and the negativty in the room that can arise is awful.
    3 hours is far too long anyhow, but thats not your fault.
    My sugguestion is
    5 tables
    1 - past papers
    2 - markschemes with past papers to go through method marks
    3 - you doing 1-2-1 on specific topics kids have problems with individually (so ask them to write the topic they dont like and you can do a 5 minute blast with them
    4 - hot questions lamintaed with the answers on the back with an approximate grade where kids can do lucky dip and see how they get on often pushing them at slightly higher than target questions
    5 - text books/lap tops for kids to go through
    Allow kids to go where they want, stop them and do a group session for a short period if they want. Find some challenging questions for the white board if they want. 30-45 minutes, break, have a chat and laugh and then get bac on. Pressure is not whats required and TBH if they dont now it now.......
    This group is so far differentiated in terms of the topics then that they will have to split and allow them not to feel pressured. Allow a 'finger buffet' of stuff
    I have delivered 50 minute pre exam sessions that have killed kids conifdence when you start talking about topics they are not hot on or never going to be. It has to be pupil led
    Anything generic and teacher led for 3 hours will 9/10 times (IMO) be counterproductive for this level of pupil
  4. That is the sort of idea that can only originate from someone who does not have a clue!
    Agree with above - keep it light and pupil-led. Reinforcement of knowledge, not learning 'new' material.

  5. 3 hours is too long.

    3 hours INSEt is too much for me, and I get paid, so it will be far too long for kids.

    It's a good idea to do some revision though.
    I would get them doing some non calculator stuff. Multiplication, fractions.

    Funnily enough I tend to focus my revision sessions for afterwards. You will have a much better idea of what to revise for the second exam, as you will know what has NOT come up in the first. The second exam tends to be in the morning so I do a breakfast session with a bit of grub (a complete bribe) and I run through an hour or so. I would prefer that they yawn and wake up in my classroom than wake up in the actual exam!

    But I agree with other posters that you seem to have been given a rather strange job.
  6. I agree with Betamale ... a 3 hour session on the day of the exam runs the risk of being
    a) so much hard work that the kids are brain dead by the end and thus underperform in the exam, or
    b) a room in which the negativity of some pupils rubs off on the others
    That said, here's a couple of other ideas:
    As pupils work along one of the models above (eg 5 tables), they write topics which they need help with (ideally ones which they half-get as it's too late to teach them something from scratch) on post-its and stick them on the board or somewhere else. You keep an eye on them and as and when there are a good number of same ones then you pull out the prepared questions (you can predict likely topics in advance) and do a 20 minute "surgery" for those who have identified that as a problem area.
    Exam techniques. It's possibly too late for them to "learn" many new things, so focus on technique. As with the method marks mentioned in the first reply, I'd also look at "how to check your answer" (don' just say "check your answers"... they need to be told "how" to check them) and common, silly mistakes.
    My personal top tip for exam techniques (and, in fairness, it works particularly well for such an 11th hour revision session) is to make notes on the formula page as soon as the exam begins. I used to do this for a lot of subjects during my own days at school - basically anything which I had in my head at the time, but I worried I'd forget under pressure (eg, in my maths GCSE I could never remember if sin0 was 0 or 90 when under pressure, so I'd check it on the way into the exam hall and then write it down as soon as the invigilator said start ... similarly, I'd write little notes or key-word reminders for various other subjects at GCSE, A-Level and even degree).
  7. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    Always worries me when the poster never responds. All the time has been spent offering advice and you wonder whether or not the OP has read any of it!!!!
    Anyway, I will keep my advice simple and basically three hours is simply far too much on the morning of the exam. You are going to tire them out before they sit the thing.

  8. Thanks for the replies everyone, I really appreciate all of them. Daughter threw her drink over my lappy last week and the Forum is banned at school, so sorry for late reply.
    Thanks again.
  9. My suggestion is that you do as you are doing on here and ask for help/suggestions, but remember that you are part of a department - don't forget to ask your colleagues. Always assuming you haven't already! If there is a trolley of laptops available, book it and use in conjunction with the previous suggestion of tables/past papers. Limit use of laptops time-wise - you could suggest the groups try a paper, keep to the time- limit of the exam, mark it, then spend some time, say 45 mins using a resources such as MyMaths (www.mymaths.co.uk) or BiteSize at the Beeb. The time spent on MyMaths needs to be structured - it's not productive enough just to play the games... If your school does not use MyMaths, Bowland Maths is an alternative, CD-based resource. (There are other resources online but these are my suggestions. They can then go back to Exam papers and try questions they think might be troublesome. Final thing is to advise of a little Exam strategy:- first do the questions you have NO trouble answering, then do the questions you find you have to think about more, then if there are any left over, take a best-guess. That will ensure as many marks are scored as possible, it does not matter what order they are answered in. Try to spend a max. of one minute per mark (which is a guide-time, you need to look at your exam boards papers).
    My final suggestion is that they will need a break during that time. A drink and some fruit is strongly recommended and the drink should be available during the revision session and the exam.
    Good luck!
  10. Which part of the Bowland?

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