Tag Archives: plenary

TOOLKIT #2 – Reviewing learning

The following ideas for starting a lesson arrived in the DHSB Teaching pink post box this week. If you want to add any more please leave a comment:


’Bounce, Pounce’ – Using higher order questioning (Bloom’s) to bounce questions from one student or group of students to others to review what they have learnt.

Student led review’ – Empowering students to take the lead in this see our recent Lazy teacher post.

‘Random name picker’ – Randomly selecting a student or small groups of students to answer specific questions related to the learning objectives of the lesson. There are many examples out there such as the hat or the famous Fruit Machine.

‘Headlines’ – Get students to create 3 headlines that could be featured in a newspaper to review what they have learnt this lesson.

‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ – Students have to write 3 multiple choice questions related to the learning objectives, these can then be shared or used as a starter for the next lesson.

‘Self Assess’ – After completing a piece of writing or an answer to a question, students are given a mark scheme or success criteria and they use highlighters to self assess and check their own progress. This could then be combined with peer assessment.

‘Word games’ – You can use games like word association to link to the learning objectives of the lesson and to review the learning.

‘Mini Whiteboard’s’ – The teacher or other students ask questions related to the learning objectives that can be completed and shown on the whiteboard, a good way to assess the whole class quickly.

‘1 min challenge’ – Students have to sum up what they have learnt during the lesson in just 60 seconds.

‘Aide memoirs’ – Students devise their own ideas/mnemonics e.g. picture/visual clues to the meaning of key words.

‘Answer hunt’ – Questions with alternative answers posted around the walls and students go to the answer they think is correct and explain why.

‘Bingo’ – Using keywords or key phrases from the lesson to play a game of Bingo.

‘Charades/Pictionary’ – Get students to act out themes, keywords or draw them for other students to guess as a way of reviewing the learning.

‘Call my bluff’ – Give out unfamiliar or new terms linked to the prior learning of the current lesson and give students option of the correct answers or terms and they then need to work out the right answer.

‘Hot seating/Speed dating’ – Students work through a series of questions/answers or activities but regularly swap partners.


lazy teaching helps learning


I think you can work too hard as a teacher, I don’t necessarily mean the hours spent marking and writing reports but actually within the classroom itself. Students need time to think, they need time to reflect, they need time to be challenged and to take a lead in their learning. Some times as a teacher under pressure from the usual sources such as the latest Ofsted, update and others things we can plan too much in a lesson, we can load each plan with activity after activity to ensure that there is a fast pace and lots of challenge. However I took a different step this week, I put my feet up (not literally as the picture shows, that reminds me I must clean my shoes) I took a step back and allowed my students to lead the review at the end of our lesson.

This didn’t give me any extra work to do, I just simply took the plunge, took a risk, I mentioned that it would happen to the class at the beginning and asked for volunteers of which there were several. Then during the lesson I spoke to a couple of the students for a few minutes on what my expectations were and also it was the opportunity to offer them some advice on how to lead it.

The review was excellent, the students asked the rest of the class to reflect on their own learning, then share it, they also went back to the lesson objectives and looked at how much progress they had made. The students really enjoyed this and reflecting on it myself it was just as effective if not more effective if I had done it. So as a teacher are there small tweaks like this that we can make within our lessons? Does this help students to take more responsibility for their own learning and of others? What do you think?