This was our second period of study before the mid year science exam. I had created a practice exam document as a prompt for students to return to ideas covered during the Term. I had previously opened all of their individual documents and populated them with encouragement, suggested improvements, useful resources to visit, hints, and occasionally corrections. As students filtered into the room their tracking sheet was projected on the board, and students asked what the colours meant. The lesson was largely self-directed as I flitted around and helping where I was asked, or marking questions and changing colour codes on the tracking sheet so students could visually see their progression. I also tried to gamify the study by letting students "unlock" a secret question when they had progressed far enough through their study.
This lesson is derived from a series of lessons that are a requirement of being in a high school that sits exams. Students have spent two terms learning science concepts in a variety of ways, but study really can't change format too much. Students need to review what they've learnt, identify gaps in their learning and be supported to fill them. Practicing questions in a format that matches the exam helps to make the exam more familiar when students sit it. Students who worked consistently through the study document would have been exposed to VERY similar questions to those in the exam, have been given feedback to improve their answers and felt confident in their knowledge and ability as they progressed through the exam. I wanted students to see that hard work pays off. Largely this was the pattern that showed in the exam. The two students who engaged in study at home both gained a Merit in the exam. One student completed very little practice apart from one single question - he passed that question in the exam and no others. Of course there is always an exception - one student works very well when he's in class but was absent during some of the study periods - he completed very little study and still topped the class with one of two Excellences. Proof that consistency trumps last-minute study, perhaps!
Class Site Content
WALT: Complete practice questions and study for the upcoming exam.
I've swapped the order of LCS here because students first created exam answers to the best of their ability.
Then students could interact with my feedback and return to past learning or new resources, or we could have a discussion to fill any gaps in their understanding.
Each student had a document shared with me, so I could provide lots of personalised comments to help them.