This time of year, it’s so important to review and reteach materials in your Spanish class. Whether you’re approaching midterms, finals, the end of the quarter, or the end of a unit, review and reteach are so important.
When I was a new teacher, I don’t think I did any strategic reteaching. I’m sure I reviewed with games and fun activities, but I was missing out on an opportunity to strengthen my students’ skills and for them to show off what they had learned! Now I know better, and I build review and reteach into my materials.
What’s the difference?
Let’s start with review – this is the one we all know and love! Review means glossing over a topic to reinforce students’ understanding of it. Most of your students already understand the concept, but they need a little more practice or a reminder of how to use it correctly.
Usually we review with games, but there are plenty of other ways to reteach a concept. Read on to move beyond the games!
Reteach means exactly what it says: we’re starting over, teaching the concept again. We use reteach when the information didn’t “click” the first time around and students haven’t mastered the concept. However, this doesn’t mean we teach the information in the exact same way with the same lesson. On the contrary, it’s important to teach the materials in a different way.
But… When Should I Reteach? When Do I Review?
Make a Data-Informed Decision
Did you cringe while reading that? I cringed a little as I wrote it. I promise, I’m not going to harp about data, truly. We can use those numbers to determine what to review and what to reteach. Check out your exit tickets, student work, and previous assessment scores to see what they’ve mastered and what they need help with. It helps me to make a quick list of the skills they need and jot down the mastery percentages (más o menos) next to those skills. Using these numbers, I make a plan to reteach concepts first and build in my review – more on this below.
My rule is… if about 75% of students are getting the idea right 75% of the time, I review the concept. They just need a little push to master this concept and really solidify the idea. If the numbers are lower, they need a complete overhaul. If they need more support, I’ll reteach completely instead of just reviewing. Later on, we can review it again once they’re closer to mastery.
What if they’ve got it? When my students are accurately using a skill 85% of the time, I don’t review or reteach the skill. I might pop it into an activity once to be sure it’s solid, but I move on. They’ve got it, no need to repeat.
Don’t wait until the exam.
Please please please don’t wait until the day (or week) before the exam to review and reteach. Please. At that point, there often isn’t enough time to review the data and make sure the information sticks with your students. Instead, I look at the numbers about a month before a big exam or two weeks before a smaller exam. Next, I pull out my calendar and determine how to review these concepts for my students.
Let’s Dig In! How do I do this?
Mix it up with Reteaching
I don’t know about you, but I took a psychology class in college when I was studying to be a teacher. One day, the professor explained something to us. I honestly don’t remember what it was, but that’s okay – it’s not the point of this story. The next day, she brought a TA to class. My class didn’t normally have a TA, so it was unusual. Our professor explained that she had incorrectly explained a concept and that hearing her correct it wouldn’t work – we needed to hear it from another perspective in order to build the knowledge correctly in our brains. I was shocked! It’s not okay for someone to correct themselves later on? Apparently, students (and adults) stick with the initial knowledge, even if it’s corrected later.
I know that you’re thinking – Kathryn, what does this have to do with reteaching? Well, I borrow the idea from this concept and try to incorporate a new learning strategy when I reteach. If I taught a grammar concept with a written story the first time around, I might teach it with a video the second time we see it. If my students didn’t connect the dots the first time they saw the concept, it’s possible that they need to see it in a new way.
Here are my favorite low-prep reteaching strategies:
- Student teachers: My students explain concepts to each other. Often, ideas make way more sense to kids when other kids explain them! Plus, I teach mostly in Spanish but I’ll allow students to explain these concepts using a mix of languages. (Nervous to use Spanish? Click here for some confidence!)
- Video lessons: There are so many excellent teachers on YouTube. I find one of them to explain the concept because it gives my students a new perspective (and a different accent!).
- Stations (okay, this is a little more prep): It’s possible that students have different reteach or they need more than one concept, so I might set up stations with different videos or guides to teach different skills. I might position myself at one station where students have struggled the most so that I can support their learning.
Make sure that there are opportunities to practice the skill! Just like teaching it the first time, we want to see that they’ve mastered the concept!
Need to reteach for different levels? Keep it simple – check out this blog post about teaching multiple levels.
Review with Meaning
Anyone can pull up a Kahoot! and review concepts quickly, but it doesn’t mean our students are connecting with the information. No shade to Kahoot! (I love a good Kahoot!), but I want to see that my students are mastering the material when we review it.
In my class, I embed review into my new lessons. Review is different from reteach because I don’t need to explicitly show the content again, but my students need to see it again. What I do instead of leading full lessons about these concepts is build them into my materials. If my students struggled with numbers, I’ll add numbers to a reading and throw in a question about the numbers in order to make sure they’re understanding the concept. For teachers who use passwords*, you can toss in some review concepts to make sure students are seeing and hearing these concepts again.
*Curious about passwords? The idea came from Bryce Hedstrom, and I love this post by Señora Chase about how she uses them in her class!
Low-Stress Review Strategies I Love:
- Add one or two review concepts to readings and ask questions about these, or throw in bonus questions with review concepts
- Build review into your do-now or starter activity for the day
- Stations (I love a good station): Each station reviews a different concept, similar to reteach, but students do activities connected to the concept instead of “relearning” from videos or guides
Like I said earlier, provide opportunities for students to show off their skills after review. This way, you know they’ve got it.
Now that I’m regularly using review and reteach strategies in my class, my students master concepts and show off their skills. What are your favorite ways to reteach and review? Leave a comment below!