6 Tips for Ongoing Content Review with Study Island

6 Tips for Ongoing Content Review with Study Island

There are some concepts—such as main idea, summarization, or multiplication and division—that once students have learned, they know for good because those concepts are foundational skills that students use over and over again in their studies. But, for other concepts, especially those that are more discrete and only used in certain contexts, it can be difficult for students to retain what they’ve learned and demonstrate mastery months or even weeks later.

One way that you can help your students keep previously taught concepts fresh is by using Study Island to provide ongoing review and practice. It incorporates the two most effective learning techniques, distributed practice and practice testing, and its items are standards-based, making it the perfect tool for review. Check out the ideas below for ways that you can incorporate consistent review into the activities that you are already doing in your classroom:

Incorporate Bell Ringers/Warm-Ups

Bell ringers or warm-ups are a great opportunity to incorporate additional practice over previously taught concepts into the school day. To use Study Island as a bell ringer, simply assign your students a particular topic to work on independently, or utilize our brand-new game-based Group Session tool. With this feature, you can select the exact questions across multiple topics that you want students to work on and then allow students to have fun competing against each other, earning points for answering the most questions correctly in the shortest amount of time. Once students have completed the bell ringer, take a few minutes to go over the questions and answers to make sure that students are able to address misconceptions and deepen their understanding.

Use Exit Tickets

Traditionally, an exit ticket is used as a way for students to demonstrate that they have achieved the day's learning goal. But, exit tickets can also be used to review previous topics. A quick and easy way to use Study Island for an exit ticket is through a Group Session. Simply select most of the questions from the topic students learned that day, and then add one or two other topics from previous lessons. You can use Checkpoint mode for a noncompetitive session or choose Challenge or Race Mode to end the class on a more fun and livelier note. Either way, all of the data are saved in Study Island so that you will know which students have mastered the concept and which will need additional practice or instruction.

Generate Homework

Homework is most effective when it provides an opportunity for students to practice and build their confidence in previous material they’ve learned over the school year. To use Study Island for homework review, simply assign students a topic to work on. Be sure to tell students to begin by reviewing the lesson for the topic—which can include videos, concept summaries, and sample problems with explanations—before they work on problems. As students work in Study Island, they receive immediate feedback to let them know whether they answered correctly or incorrectly and an explanation so that they understand why the correct answer is correct. If students don't have access to devices or the Internet at home, simply print out a worksheet from Study Island. Then, students can go over their homework when they return to class the next day.

As you begin to strategically embed review into your day-to-day instruction, here are a few tips to help things run smoothly.

Set Expectations

Depending on your students' previous educational experiences, they may have a preconceived notion that they only need to retain knowledge up until the test and then can forget it and move on. Be sure to set the expectation early on that students must retain what they are learning because what they learn in the future will build upon it. Let students know that they will have to show their mastery on state assessments at the end of the year—and for middle and high school students, final exams as well. Being candid with students about why they need to retain what they have learned will allow them to see the value in the review activities.

Develop a Plan

The best way to make sure that all concepts are being reviewed regularly is by planning out which topics you will review and when you will review them. There may be a few concepts that, because of the level of difficulty or prevalence on state exams, need to be reviewed at least once a week and others that only need to come up every few weeks. A plan will make sure that every topic is considered appropriately and that nothing falls through the cracks. Also, be sure that your plan is flexible enough to allow for additional review for the topics on which students struggle the most. For example, you could use Friday as a day to go over the topics that students had the most trouble with that week.

Make It Fun

Children, as well as adults, are more engaged (and remember things better) when they are having fun. Look for ways to spice up review so that students will look forward to it and want to give their best effort. You can utilize Study Island's new game-based Group Sessions or allow students to work in game mode when working in Study Island independently.

Ready to get started? If your school or district already uses Study Island, simply log in and head to the Help Center for resources to help you get started or head to the What’s New page to learn about the new features. If you're not a current Study Island user but want to learn more, sign up for a free trial!