Exam Time – Study Guide Assignment

It’s finals time!  I teach mostly freshmen, so I wanted to help them prepare for their Geometry final.  Many students have a tough time studying for a math test, and this one covers an entire semester plus of material.  Geometry is full of things to know as well, like properties of your favorite shapes, everything you never wanted to know about triangles and circles, and finding areas and volumes of anything and everything.

I created a Study Guide Assignment to help them.  I gave them an outline of the topics the exam would cover, and a rubric on how I would grade it.  I gave out the assignment a week before our two in-class review days, with the study guide being due at the beginning of class on the first review day.  I emphasized that they needed to create a study guide that would help THEM.  They did not have to do it any certain way.  They could take notes, use index cards, make a booklet, do it on their computer, any way they wanted!

IMG_3566Today students shared their study guides with the class.  They were very creative!  A few students went all out and created a brand new binder for their study guides.  They created page dividers for each chapter.  On the page dividers, they attached note cards where they had written the notes from the chapter.  In each section they included the most important notes (foldables), study guides, problem sets and assessments for that chapter.  One student even put every page in a page protector!

Here are some of the other things they created.  Below is a gallery of pictures I took today.

  • A binder with dividers, one for each chapter.  Notecards attached to the divider, then all quizzes, tests and problem sets from the chapter in the sections.
  • A section in their INB, so they would have their notes all together with their notes from the year.
  • Index cards, love the “again” card one student created so she would go through them “again”.
  • LARGE index cards (from half sheets of paper)
  • Booklets, like the ones we make in class to review
  • Quizlet
  • A word document (the student even learned to use equation editor – impressive)

The students did an amazing job and most students told me that it took them a couple of hours or more to do this assignment.   Yesterday many were mad at me (as they were finishing them up the assignment), but today they said, “Wow, this should really help me on the exam.”  Exams are still a week away, so hopefully getting this work “out of the way” should give them a huge head start on their studying.

IMG_3574I feel that their study guides are already effective and helping them.  Today, after they shared their study guides, I let them work with other students if they were missing sections on their study guides.  Afterwards, I gave them an exam review packet of problems and was happy to see many students flipping through their own study guides to get help on the problems instead of asking me immediately.  Seriously, I should do this before every test.  Success!

Grading Side Note – I didn’t want to have to grade ANOTHER project before exams, so I had them self score the rubric.  Then, I scored their rubric as they presented.  It counted as a small quiz grade so I graded it pretty easy.  The main point was that they were organizing and re-writing many of their notes.  And most of my students could use a small good grade this time of year.