Lately before any test or large quiz, 90% of the time, I've been doing the following:
Giving a review sheet of problems, letting students work in partners or groups during the period. I come around and answer questions. If they don't finish, its homework, and I answer any other questions at the beginning of class the next day as a warm up before their test or quiz (time permitting).
Now... to me, this is "boring" and unimpressive, especially for a new teacher who is supposed to be full of fun, great and innovative ideas, right? Sometime I jazz it up with a review game but what I keep running into is that they review the information better this way because its just kind of direct.
Is this bad? Does anyone else have ways that they review besides games?
I assign the review sheet the night before and I attach a sheet of answers so students can check their work. The next day, they come in with questions and I go over anything they ask me to. After that, I do a quick overview of concepts, and put problems up for them to work on and that we go over. (I do this using a game.)
I don't think everything needs to be new and innovative, and this works well. If I find something more fun that produces the same results, I might change what I do, but I want to make sure the students are getting a good review session before the test.
I teach history but I generally give out a study guide that has a list of terms, people, and concepts. I also give possible essay questions. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with these before the test. On Test Day I first take questions on any they don't know, then I play a review game.
I try for two review days. I go more quickly through some of the sections than some of the other teachers (we have the same test days) to make room for this as I think it helps. One review day is a game/activity that is more exciting. The other day is just working on the review guide and asking questions. I post the review guide key online.
I don't really review too much in class. Like Brendan, I hand out a study guide, and expect students to work through it on their own. I will quiz students a little bit at the beginning of class each day. This year, I have also been using Quizlet, which is a free flash card generator, that my students seem to like.
My bellringers everyday are a review of the material. My tests are a fair representation of what we work on in class, i.e., no surprises. I think that with those two factors, along with notes that students take, students should be well prepared for my tests. If I don't feel that they're ready, then I will reteach the material or we will spend more time practicing it.
I give my physics classes their review assignment (on average 10 questions and about 12 problems) on the day we begin a new chapter/unit. They are given about 2 and a half weeks to work on it. They are allowed to come in for extra help on it on their own time. We go over it the day before their test, putting problems on the board that they were having trouble with (usually those involving combining new and old skills).
This is the ONLY assignment that is entirely homework. I encourage students to learn to manage their time on this and not wait until the last minute, and then complain about the 7 hours they spent the night before trying to finish.
I divide students into groups of 5 and assign each group specific questions to work on. The questions are similar to those that will be on the test. I give them about half the class time to work on the problems. Then the groups are redistributed and each person shares the answers they have.
I had a biology teacher in high school who would give us 100 multiple choice questions a week before the final. The day before the final he'd give us all the answers. The final would be comprised of 50 questions from the ones he gave us.