Saturday, July 16, 2011

Memory Mates

Although it was a few years back, I distinctly remember the hours I spent studying to memorize the steps of how a bill becomes a law. Passing the Constitution test was a requirement for passing the eighth grade, so it was a pretty big deal to us at the time.  I made a Velcro study board so I could practice putting all the steps in the right order.  It was a low-tech study solution, but the hands-on nature of creating and using the board was very helpful to me.  There are all kinds of online tools that your students can use to study and memorize things today.  Between these tools and good old-fashioned studying, our students can master memorization this year!  These examples are about how a bill becomes law, but the tools and techniques are universal.

Tickle their funny bones: Students can create comic strips or children’s books about the how a bill becomes a law.  Writing and illustrating the process can help students “own” the information.  This site lists some good online comic generators, but you can also assign this with pen and paper.

Show off the learning: Students can make posters of the process, tying the review process to their creativity.  There is something about working on a huge poster board and markers that has always appealed to me!  If you want to go high tech with this one, let your students create and present interactive online posters.  Try making a glog on Glogter or a Prezi. 

Hollywood Style Learning: Let your students get really creative and have them create movies or slideshows to share with the class.  Tools like Powerpoint, Windows Movie Maker, and iMovie are all great, but there are also free online tools for educators like Animoto.  I listed Prezi as an interactive online poster, but it is also a great replacement for Powerpoint.

Put it in a Binder: Somebody might already have collected resources for the topic you are studying in a LiveBinder.  If not, it would be a great thing for your students to create themselves.  Check out this tool that allows you to compile all kinds of information to save and study later.

In a Flash: Studying flashcards is a very effective memorization tool.  There are online flashcard generators and smartphone apps that can bring flashcards to your digital devices and prevent writers cramp at the same time! Quizlet is a neat flashcard generator that you can access from a computer or smartphone.
Memorizing facts and procedures can be a daunting task, but hopefully some of these 21st century tools can male it more manageable and fun.

~Peggy's Corner - July 14, 2011~

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