Archive for November 18th, 2009

Organization of Information

Tomorrow is my last day of observing! Time flies.

Over the past week I’ve been working more closely with the students. The manner in which I present the information to the students is very different from how my CT does. There is no doubt that he really understands his content; however, it doesn’t seem to stick with some students. I believe they understand what he is saying in class, but when they go back to their class materials, they can’t make sense of it. The organization of the information is almost as important as the information itself.

For the majority of the class period students are either copying notes from a PowerPoint presentation with an overload of words or reading the book and answering questions in class. Lectures are presented in bullet format, without using indents or outlines; just straight bullets. Some students become overwhelmed and stop writing, others have no motivation.

The students are given review sheets prior to each quiz and test, which I think is awesome. However, students are not utilizing these study guides because they are overwhelming. The review usually consists of a long list of questions, single spaced, and double-sided. In addition, many of the questions are difficult to answer and because the organization of the information/notes is not as clear as it could be.

Last night I re-worked the review sheet for a student I am helping during his study hall. I did not change any of the questions at all, I just re-formatted it. Using two columns, I put the questions in the boxes on the left side, and left space for the answers in boxes on the right. The paper is formatted so that it can be folded in half and students can flip it back and forth, quizzing themselves as they would with flash cards. The visual clarity seemed to make a huge difference in his ability to comprehend the information.

The little things seem to make a world of a difference…

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