Monthly Archives: May 2011

How do you review?


With finals around the corner, how do you review the year’s curriculum with your algebra students?

I posted a while back “Algebra Alien” which is a fun way for students to represent their algebraic understanding using their notes and assignments. Another such cumulative review could be created by 4-6 teams of  students, with each team focusing on a particular content area, writing a range of potential test questions. Once the set of questions are finalized, a cumulative practice exam can be created and administered to the whole class. Each team could then instruct/explain the correct responses for their sections and field questions as necessary. This type of review reinforces student’s understanding of their assigned content area, while creating student “buy-in” to the review process. One word of caution…if students are allowed to pick their teams based on the content they like best or know better than the others, you’re hindering them from fully reviewing the content areas they in which they need the most help. Assigning students a particular content, based on their formative assessment performances throughout the year, will provide them one last opportunity to learn the material from a peer base. This can be done very inconspicuously, by pre-arranging the teams. With that said, its best not create a team of students that consists of students who have a poor or incomplete understanding of the same content. This type of review will take a great deal of planning and student mapping to the best team configuration, but when done properly it can have an amazing effect. What students may not have learned through your instruction, may finally comprehend through the instruction of their peers. 

Please share your method(s) of facilitating a cumulative review for algebra.

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