Unit III Review

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SWBAT collaboratively and individually review key concepts in preparation for the Unit III Assessment

Big Idea

This is the chance for students to re-activate previously learned content to prepare for the Unit III exam!

Lesson Introduction

This lesson is a review for all the material that students learned in Unit III. It starts with a "fact review" of all the non-Earth Science Reference Table based information contained in the unit, where students think about and copy down some facts they can use to study. Then , they participate in some Regents-based problem sets that deal with problems similar to the ones that they'll encounter on the actual assessment. 

Materials Needed:

  • Index Cards

[Note: For embedded comments, checks for understanding (CFUs), and key additional information on transitions and key parts of the lesson not necessarily included in the below narrative, please go to the comments in the following document: Review (Whole Lesson w/comments). Additionally, if you would like all of the resources together in a PDF document, that can be accessed as a complete resource here: Review (Whole Lesson)[PDF]. Finally, students may need their Earth Science Reference Tables [ESRT] for parts of the lesson (a document used widely in the New York State Earth Science Regents course) as well.]

Do Now

10 minutes

Students come in silently and complete the (attached) Do Now. After time expires (anywhere from 2-4 minutes depending on the type of Do Now and number of questions), we collectively go over the responses (usually involving a series of cold calls and/or volunteers), before I call on a student and ask them to read the objective out loud to start the lesson.

As a general note, the Do Now serves a few purposes:

  1. It serves as a general review of the previous day's material;
  2. It is a re-activation of student knowledge to get them back into "student mode" and get them thinking about science after transitioning from another content area or alternate class;
  3. as a strategy for reviewing material students have struggled with (for example, using this as a focused review for material that they have struggled with on unit assessments or recent quizzes); and,
  4. It is an efficient and established routine for entering the classroom that is repeated each day with fidelity (I never let students enter the classroom talking. While it may seem potentially severe to have students enter silently each day, this is both a school wide expectation and a key component of my classroom. In many respects, I find that students readily enjoy the focus that starting with a quiet classrooms brings each day).

Fact Review

10 minutes

[Note: See reflection in this section for additional context on 'fact review' in unit exams]

In the first section of review, student get the chance to conduct some Fact Review using the attached resource. In this case, I distilled all of the lesson content into digestible facts that students could (and need to) utilize in their exam. What I do is I give students 5-7 minutes to review the document, and they use that time to copy down those facts on five index cards that they're given at the start of class. I ask them to write down facts that they don't understand - by focusing on what they need help the most, I want to give them the chance to prioritize their studying the night before. 

Problem Sets

35 minutes

While there are a lot of problem sets (Problem Set IProblem Set IIProblem Set III, and Problem Sets IV - V can all be accesses here), I try to go through these relatively quickly in giving students the chance to work on them, so as to maximize their chance to see the greatest diversity of question types. The problems sets are based upon or around specific principles or content groupings, and are organized based upon how I think students should review content in preparation for their upcoming exam. I also have students participate in both group-based and individual time to work on the problem sets. For example, the first one I have students work in groups, while the second problem set is done individually. It very much depends on the actual content and if I think the students would benefit from working collectively, but in an overarching sense, if you adopt a similar principle to your review, feel free to organize it in whatever way you see fit. 

Closing & Extra Credit

5 minutes

Unlike most of my other lessons (this also being a special 'Review' lesson, this is less important to get "data" given the imminence of the unit assessment), there is no daily exit ticket. Usually, whatever is not finished in the requisite class time is assigned as an optional HW/Extra Credit assignment. I don't ask for it the next day, but if students give it to me completed, they'll usually get an extra point or two on the assessment. I do this to both give them an opportunity to build in some extra practice time and incentivize their studying, but also to build some personal agency in their own grades and performance. So, whenever they turn in the Bonus/Extra Credit, they're able to gain some extra points, while at the same time build some study skills. 

After explaining this briefly, I still end class the same way I always do. I give students time to pack up their belongings, and I end the class at the objective, which is posted on the whiteboard, and ask students two questions:

  1. Do you feel that you mastered the objective for the day?
  2. Can you reiterate one thing you learned about ____________ (in this case, I usually ask them something about a fact that they wrote down or something that they're going to look over that night in preparation for the unit exam).

Bonus Section: Unit III Assessment

While this isn't a traditional part of this lesson (obviously), I wanted to include the actual assessment for reference. Attached, you'll find two copies: the first copy is the actual student version of the exam that you can give to students. 100% of the questions are from former Regents examinations pertaining to this unit, addressing a variety of standards and levels of rigor. Additionally, the second copy contains the teacher-based version of the test, with highlighted sections serving as an answer key for your use. Enjoy!