Research shows conclusively that one of the best ways to transfer information from Short Term Memory (STM) to Long Term Memory (LTM).  One of the best strategies is called SPACED REPETITION.  Spaced Repetition, essentially, involves revisiting the ideas or skills you are learning in class regularly.  For example research suggests revisiting at least once within 48 hours, and then at least weekly to maximise understanding and retention.

 In addition to regular revision, it is important to pre-load in preparation for each subject.  Pre-loading means visiting the material you will cover before you begin it in class.  Strategies for both revision and pre-loading are outlined below.  If your teacher does not identify the homework you should be doing, select the most appropriate strategy.  Secondary students should be spending between 15 minutes and 30 minutes on every subject each day.  When you have assignments, this will quickly eat up your homework time.  Students who succeed are those who plan their out-of-school timetable to allow time for both types of homework.

As well as regular revision, it is advisable to keep the following advice in mind for maximum recall.

  1. Be totally focused on one thing. Don’t allow social media or music to distract and divide your focus.
  2. Translate what you did in class into another mode of organisation to enhance neural connections. Brain mapping is useful here, as is visualising and drawing the ideas in some way (perhaps as a cartoon?). Use a range of Graphic Organisers to indicate connections and relationships. A PowerPoint of such organisers is part of this week’s Blog. Compare the Concept Web and the Mind Map. Can you see how much more visual the ideas in the Mind Map are?
  3. Vary the Strategies You use the revise or pre-load for understanding. Vary when and where you study and revise, too. Perhaps get up early before school and complete revision after a jog and a shower. You can listen to a revision Pod Cast while you jog, too!


REVISE
PRE-LOAD

Read class notes and write a reflection (more on this next week)
Read the class texts before the term starts and write a reflection as you read. Make a list of questions you have as you go.
Create a Vocabulary List in the back of every work book for ever subjects. Read several definitions and create the best for each term
Read the introductory chapters to your text books before the term starts, and make a list of questions you have as you go.
Use A4 work-books for every subject. Transfer by hand all word processed work into these books each night.
See if there is a film version of your class text. Watch this and compare and contrast this to the text version.
Create concept webs and mind maps to identify relationships
If there is more than one film version of your class text (for example: For Romeo and Juliet or The Great Gatsby. Watch as many versions as you can and compare and contrast all of the versions.
Use Post-it notes to create organisation charts on your bedroom walls.
Read the next chapter of your text books. Make a list of questions you have as you go.
Paint your bedroom walls with blackboard paint and use chalk to write formulae and key words and definitions in concept webs.
See if the next topics in your text books have You Tube videos you can watch. Make a list of questions you have as you go and of answers to previous questions.
Draw visual summaries of ideas- cartoons? Brain clouds? Draw and Label diagrams and put these posters on the desk at home and the back of your bedroom or the toilet door

Listen to a Pod Cast on the topic before you begin
Make a point form summary of ideas.
Book a specific session with a tutor to go over the required background theory.
Explain the ideas to someone else (Reciprocal Teaching). Answer their questions about the topic.
Read reviews and articles about the topic.
Explain the ideas out aloud and record it on your phone. Then go for a jog with the ideas playing.
Start a Vocabulary List and Concept web you can add to as you study.
Find the ideas online at You Tube or look for a free revision quiz on the topic.
If you have your timetable organise your student planner with every subject every day, to remind you to record a specific revision strategy every night.
Make Crossword revisions at http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/CrissCrossSetupForm.asp
Make your own list of revision strategies for when you just think there is no homework!


So the big Take Away?

Homework is practice so: Practise! Practise! And then Practise again!

The school breaks are great times to book extra lessons to refine and hone a particular skill or lock and load an important understanding.

Don’t put it off- practise today!


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