I know this blog is mainly about technology and math, but let’s be honest, sometimes good ol’ pen and paper get the job done! Today I am going to share with you the study guides I give to my kids to help them prepare for chapter tests. At my school, we use the GoMath curriculum, so my study guides are loosely based on each chapter. Let’s start with the basics.
What is a study guide?
A study guide is a tool that I typically give to my students towards the end of each chapter to help them review for the post-test. There are so many ways you can use the study guides though – in centers, before the chapter to assess for prior knowledge, and as a mid-chapter check.
Why give a study guide?
I know some of you are probably thinking – why give the students a study guide? I’ll let you in on a secret – it’s for the parents. Think about it, most parents know how to do the math, but breaking it down step by step can be difficult. I create these study guides to help parents be more involved in their child’s learning. They also give parents a heads-up as to when a test will be to help get their child ready.
How do you create a study guide?
When I am creating a study guide, I think about each lesson in the chapter and how I can explain it in a different way if needed. I use PowerPoint to create most of my worksheets, and then save them as a PDF to upload. PowerPoint is a better tool than Word because the text boxes snap into place nicely and objects fit in place nicer. Study guides are set up in four quadrants. This helps me to put more information on the one-page front to back. The front of the study guide usually has a conceptual understanding of the content. The back has the algorithms and an example or two for students to try on their own.
When do you give a study guide?
I used to give the study guides at the end of the chapter, with a few days to look it over and ask me questions before the test, however, I am going to start giving them at the beginning of the unit. I’m hoping it will motivate students and keep them engaged by gaining a sneak preview of the chapter. This will also help parents be more involved in their child’s schoolwork because they will have guidance as to how to help them.
What are your thoughts about study guides? What other ways do you use them in your classroom? Drop a comment below!
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