We have five days set aside for intensive review. I originally wanted to do five mini-lessons, but as you will see, I only planned for four. Why? Because we have a day each week when classes are shortened. This would have made the rotations that day about 10 minutes each---and I already feel like 15 minutes is pushing things. So, I won't do a mini-lesson that day.
I have packed more into each mini-lesson than I probably should have. Each one has a 5E base (engage, explore, explain, extend, evaluate) to support a Big Idea. The day prior to beginning the review, I will have kids take a learning styles inventory. Although every brain benefits from having information presented in multiple formats, my goal with the inventory is to raise student awareness about ways information can be learned.
- Day One focuses on learning and memory. I kick things off with a great demo from "How to Teach So Students Remember" in which you can "trick" kids into creating a false memory. This will be a great jumping off point to talk about how memories are stored and reinforced.
- The goal of Day Two is get students to think about the why of using graphic organizers (store learning in both sides of the brain) in order to take notes and learn vocabulary.
- On Day Three, I'll model my own metacognition as a reader using some of the informational text they are using that day. Beyond that, I have some bookmarks adapted/plagiarized from Jim Burke that I want to hand out to them so that they have a reference for monitoring their own reading.
- The final day is set aside to talk about test-taking strategies. Some kids have good skills...and others don't. I'm hoping for a good discussion and giving the students a sense of empowerment in terms of managing a test.