School is almost over! I know teachers across the country are waiting for the last day to release their shouts of joy. It’s been a very different year, but you’re almost there. Ready to take a well deserved break.
But...you still have a few weeks left. How are you going to fill those weeks? Can I just take the kids outside all day everyday? Please…
Honestly, free time and play is great! But that’s not what I’m going to talk about today. Come back next week and I’ll have some things to share about why you should let your students play. But today, I want to give you another option to use as you round out the school year. That is...daily reviews.
Daily reviews are a great way to get in key skills everyday, without a ton of planning on your part. (I know, this is every teacher’s goal all year, not just at the end.)
First, let’s talk about what I’m meaning when I say daily review... I know some teachers have worksheets that they refer to as daily review, but that is not what I’m talking about. Daily review is a short large group session where students repeat key skills for a single subject. The goal should be for students to memorize key information for a specific subject. Your daily review should be quick and simple. It is free from error because you are doing it together and it is rote memorization.
For example, a kindergarten daily math review could look like this: run in place as you count to 100 (or the number of the day), show the number of the day with base tens, recite facts to make 10, identify coins & their value (Dr. Jean’s I Like Money song is great for this!), and identify 2D & 3D shapes mentioning key attributes.
This routine would only take about 5 minutes which is perfect for kindergarten. You want to make sure your daily routine stays within the average attention span for your age group. A good rule of thumb is 1 minute for every year of life. So for 6 years olds, you have 6 minutes of attention.
Here is why I say daily review is perfect for the end of the school year:
Everyone is tired: Teachers are tired; students are tired; administrators are tired. Daily review allows learning to happen without a lot of effort being put into it by anyone. It is simple, but powerful.
Once you plan it, it’s done: You don’t have to plan a new activity for each day. You plan one review for each subject, and that’s it. You have your daily review planned for the next few weeks.
It provides a daily routine: At the end of the year, things go wonky. Teachers are trying to get grades done. It seems like you are asked to complete more paperwork everyday. It’s warm and everyone wants to go outside and play. So, what often happens is routine is thrown out the window and everyday is a fly by the seat of your pants kind of day. Here’s the problem. You, the teacher, are the one making the decisions about what to do and what not to do. You are in control of the day. The students are not, and they don’t know what to expect when the routine goes out the window. By using a daily review, this allows students a sense of normalcy. No matter what happens the rest of the day, they know what to expect during daily review.
Helps fill possible gaps: Sure, some of your students will have already mastered the skills in your daily review. But we all know, some of the students are not completely ready for the next level. Daily review allows these students a consistent opportunity to fill in knowledge gaps they may have, before moving on to the next grade.
Builds confidence: Daily review is pure memorization. As students begin to memorize the routine, they will become more confident of their skill in this particular area. We have all had students who never wanted to try for fear of failure. This routine is the perfect time to help them gain confidence in their abilities. It can also be a great idea to pick one student a day to lead the daily review once students have become familiar with it.
*I want to include a little side note here: do not use daily review to introduce content from the next grade level. This should be a review of the current year’s key skills.
Daily review is one of my go to strategies to create routine and build skill mastery all year long. But I hope this article helps you realize how and why daily review can be so helpful at the end of the school year.
I would love for you to connect with me on Instagram @teachformastery. Let me know what you are including in your daily review and how your students love it!
Be sure to check out my daily review binders on TpT!