How to Systematically Review Previously Learned Material

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This week we’re going to discuss how to systematically review previously learning material.

If you’ve been keeping up with our blogs, you’ll know that Structured Literacy is systematic, multi-sensory, and cumulative. Because it is cumulative, this means that concepts build upon each other and are reviewed so that no content is lost. (If you want to learn more about Structured Literacy, click here!)

So the question is, how can we systematically review previously learned material so that these concepts stay fresh for our students? Well, chances are, you’re already pulling in some sort of review into your sessions. Today I want to show you all the ways this can be done!

Review last week’s concept during a warm up game

If you’re like us, you might have fun resources and games pulled together for almost every syllable type or phonograph that you teach! This is a great way to warm up and also see if your student remembers what concept you worked on last week.

Don’t have a game specifically made to target the phonogram you worked on the week before? That’s okay! When this happens to me (or when I’m short on time) I just pull a word list with the specific phonogram pattern or a review word list to warm up with! I play a “dice game” with my students where we each take turns rolling a dice and underlining the word we land on. We then have to decode the word and use it in a sentence. It’s super easy to pull together, and it’s a great way to get my students thinking about previous rules.

To get the most out of your games, you may want to read our blog on How to Hit 5 Reading Targets with One Game.

Review during the Sound Drill and Auditory Drill

When I do my sound drill at the beginning of the lesson, I make sure to pull in all the phonogram cards that my student has been exposed to! This is a quick and easy way to make sure these rules stay fresh in their mind. Toward the end of the lesson, I also do an auditory drill. If you’re wanting more instruction on why we ALWAYS do a sound drill and auditory drill, check out these blogs:

I can pick specific phonograms based on where I know my student struggles, and I can also ask them questions during the auditory drill. For example, if I ask them to give me 4 ways to make the /r/ sound, they would write ‘er,’ ‘ir,’ ‘ur,’ and ‘r.’ I then could ask them which is the most common way to make the /r/ sound, which is the least common way to make the /r/ sound, which of those can be used as a suffix, etc.

Review spelling words

Toward the beginning of the lesson, and at the end of the lesson, I have the opportunity to give my students some review spelling words. Again, this is just a great way for me to keep some of these concepts fresh for my students, as well as be able to reiterate rules or make corrections with my students if needed. For example, if my student spells the word milk correctly I might say something like, “ Awesome, I love that you used a ‘k’ to make the /k/ sound at the end of that word! Why didn’t you use a -ck?” Hopefully at that point, my student could tell me that they didn’t use a -ck because the /k/ sound was touching a consonant, not a short vowel.

Right after spelling, I also like to go through all the syllable types we’ve worked on so far. During this portion of the lesson, I’ll either build a word for that syllable type or have my student build me a word and explain why the word fits into the specific syllable type. An example of this would be building the word “dog” and asking my student to explain why this is a closed syllable word (because the ‘g’ is blocking the vowel in, making the vowel say it’s short sound).

Review in writing practice and applied skills

Another final place for me to review previously learned concepts is when my students are writing sentences, or working on applied skills. When my students are writing, I typically have them check for COPS (Capitals, Organization, Punctuation, and Spelling). These sentences are likely going to have review words that we’ve already learned. When my student spells these words correctly, I like to bring attention to what they did correctly (e.g. “Nice job adding an ‘e’ to the end of ‘give’! Why did we need that ‘e’ there again?”) Again, this just gives my student a chance to explain a rule that we’ve already learned.

Megan LahtiComment