Back to blogs

5 ways to make knowledge stick

Bearing this important evidence in mind, here are 5 ideas for ‘making knowledge stick’ and effective revision tips in the run-up to exam season.

1. Knowledge organisers

This idea is taken from the excellent Michaela Community School and Joe Kirby.

Organise the key knowledge you want students to know into a table which they have throughout the scheme. You can use this resource as a template. This is used to test, set homework and self-quiz which brings me to…

2. Self-quizzing

Using the knowledge organiser, students read, cover, regurgitate and then check their answers for homework knowing they will be tested on this knowledge and that teachers will check for evidence of self-quizzing. They add any missed information in a different colour pen to show where the gaps in their knowledge are (cheeky bonus = no marking required!)

What I really love about this one is that it get a students into good revision habits from year 7 – no longer do I hear the ‘You can’t really revise for English’ excuse!

3. Low-stakes testing

Starter quizzes, cloze activities and cold-call questioning are great ways to test students’ knowledge without the pressure of grades and formal assessment (again, marking-free my friends!)

4. Memory platform

A fantastic form of low-stakes testing created by Andy Tharby.

Questions one-three test last lesson’s learning, question four tests last week’s learning, question five tests last term’s learning and question six links last term to last lesson (this really challenges them to have mastered the content and often elicits some very creative responses!) This activity is a great way to interleave content. There is a downloadable example here.

5. Choral response

One of Doug Lemov’s very simple but incredibly effective Teach Like a Champion techniques.

Students chant back to you key information such as a spelling mnemonic, a phrase in French or the definition of a mathematical term. Students at all ability levels are empowered by this learning of knowledge particularly as the progress is so tangible for them.