Time needed: 10 – 30 min
Why? This method is supporting self-responsible reflection of own already absorbed skills and a good control for teachers of gained knowledge.
When? Any time when a topic duration is completed as well as examination and test preparation.
How? Give students one or several questions or discussable sentences they have to reflect about. You can give this task as a lesson exercise or also as a test, but please dont just use it as testing method, it is for students also very enjoyable to just write their own opinion about taught topics from their own perspective, if you always use this method just for your own control of the absorption process in class, students will loose their interest for such an enjoyable task. Give students the task to answer a huge topic very compact and short noted. This is the method, to think bigger and write understandable short notes.
Any risks? Not every student is able to reflect absorbed knowledge in a way of such a summery, if you know students with abilities of writing those summaries in essay format, support them and force them to shorter the essay after that as much as they can. If you find students in your classroom which like to answer questions in short sentences or short comments, give them also the chance to do that, but always think the method is to think about the whole taught subjects in a very compact format. Every student is actually using this method for themselves to prepare tests and examinations with cheat-sheets, that’s exact this method. And because every student knows how to do it, why not using it in class as an absorption and control instrument. Teach them how to make a very effective cheat-sheet as a learning instrument, the only risk is that they will use it in the examination, but also with that – don’t be afraid, if students prepared a real effective cheat-sheet they know what is this short note about, no-one else than the creator of a cheat-sheet can understand it, because this person absorbed the knowledge already with creating the sheet.