Saturday, 25 January 2014

How do you motivate your Year 11 to revise?

I often show my classes Ebbinghaus's Forgetting Curve to talk about how important it is to structure their revision so that they remember the maximum amount of information by the time they sit their exam in June.

With 6 months to go, how can I motivate them to start revising now and then to sustain it?

Here are the ideas tried so far by our faculty:

1)  Students have access to this symbaloo - I've collected links to useful wesites/videos etc and all they have to do is click on the one they want and it opens in another tab - I also set homework from it:

2)  We are currently offering a weekly draw for a pair of cinema tickets for students who attend after school revision on a Wednesday.  We keep registers, ask students why they haven't attended, phone parents of 'key students' if they don't attend,  put messages out on the tannoy, stand at the doors and turn Year 11s back when they try to leave at the end of the day in the nicest possible way obviously!  We had over 100 Year 11s attend last week so it's definitely working so far!

3)  Parents emails have been collected and they receive well-timed messages about important dates in Maths, past papers, links to resources etc.

4) @suffolkmaths have lots of great resources here

5) @Jeremy_Denton has been using Revision Races to add some competition.  See an example here

6) @DJUdall has a twitter feed dedicated to revision.

7) @jojobee21 has suggested biscuits!  Never underestimate the power of snacks!

8) 3 sets of Foundation 'Need to know' Loop Cards.  Download from TES here

9) @Maths4ukplc reminds them that getting a C is the only way to not be doing it again next year!

Thought it would be great to gather together some ideas to share on the run up to GCSEs so which resources or ideas do you use to motivate your students to revise?  

Add a comment below or tweet @themathsmagpie

Sunday, 12 January 2014

'Mock' Year 11 Results Day

On Friday our Year 11s had a Results Day based on their Mock exams which they took before Christmas.

This involved them going to the hall, lining up and waiting for their envelope just like they will be doing in August.  It was just like the real thing - some waited for friends until they opened their envelope, some cried and some were thrilled.

In their envelopes not only did they have their mock results but they also had a slip which told them whether or not they had got onto their college course.  Powerful stuff.

One of the conversations I had in passing on the corridor really showed how much it meant to some:

"How did you do?" I asked one youngster, who had obviously been crying. "I've got a D." she said, clearly upset, disappointed and really feeling it like it was the 'real thing'.

"But you haven't got a D for real yet."  I said.  "You have a second chance now."  And she brightened up with the realisation that this wasn't a done-deal yet.

Tomorrow I'll be seeing my Year 11s for the first time since they received their mocks - some will be thrilled and some disappointed so this is where I'm going to start with them:

In addition they will all be getting their envelopes back with their personal targets in that they set the very first time I met them in September.  For more information see the post here.

... and we will also be pushing forwards to gain more marks and make progress using their Mock papers by using the 'Ask an Expert' activity.  See here.