Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2017 February

Brainstorming Review

If you are the type to review just before a test, you probably stand at the front of the class and quiz your students verbally over the basic topic or topics to be covered before you hand it out. Next time, try using this brainstorming activity to help some of that quick review to stick in their brains a bit longer. (Plan for 10-15 minutes for this activity to be most effective.)

  1. Have students pull out a piece of blank paper.
  2. Ask them to write all the words or ideas they know about the selected topic. (If there are multiple topics covered on the test, this may need to be a multi-step process so they can brainstorm each topic separately.)
  3. Next, have them exchange their brainstorming paper with a partner to see if they missed anything. Each student adds any words or ideas to their paper that they may have missed.
  4. Allow the students to look over their brainstorming papers for an additional minute or two, then have them give you their papers before handing out the test.

Once they finally take the test, the students will have already activated their long-term memories of the concepts and vocabulary for the selected topics, and writing them down just minutes before helped to establish current physical memories. It may just give that student with test anxiety the extra boost needed to succeed on the test.