Spiraling Instruction Best Test Prep

Spiraling, Spiral Learning, Spiraling in Classrooms






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Spiraling Instruction During 2nd Semester ►►►Getting Ready for Testing


Gone are the days of cramming for a test the night before and then throwing away all the flashcards and notes.  With high stakes testing and standards that build off of each other yearly, we must ensure student retain the information from week to week, month to month, and year to year.  Students are often left with holes in their learning due to failure to "get it" or failure to "retain it".  Both of these problems can be addressed through SPIRALING instruction.  To do this, the following must be implemented:  

S-Standards and data must be analyzed
P-Plan with a purpose 
I-Instruct differently for groups of students based on their needs 
R-Review and re-evaluate readiness through small assessments
A-Apply new knowledge in meaningful ways like projects and real life scenarios or readings.
L-Learn from your practice.  Keep notes on what worked and what didn't. 

Below, I will outline what spiraling is, why we should make it part of our daily planning, and a few strategies to plan for this daily in your classroom.   

What Is Spiraling?

►Remediation of skills and content throughout the year, rather than in chunks when the unit is taught. We must move away from focusing on just getting all the content covered. We must also look at ways to continually connect the content and review the content for long-term retention.  
Taking the knowledge and skills we teach throughout the year and continually embedding them into daily instruction and ensuring we build on the these skills as the year progresses. You can do this in so many ways, but centers or projects are the best methods for social studies and science because they constantly expose the students to the content previously covered.  
►Looking at data and determining in which skills or content standards students need extra assistance and making sure you reteach these concepts throughout the year.  Again, this could be done in centers with a small group with which you focus on direct instruction.  
►Reteaching and continuously making the content relevant for long term memory as opposed to teaching one unit and then moving onto the next without continuously evaluating and building from the learning content. 

Why Spiral?

►Ensure students retain and reflect on the skills and content they have learned throughout the entire year. 
►Build from student mastery of content, and as the year progresses, have use skills spiraled into lesson to go deeper and make more meaningful to students. 
Reteach and readdress skills in which students are weaker, and ensure mastery of content. 
Keep information relevant instead of just reviewing for the test the week before.  Spiraling throughout the year is proven to be more effective. 

Strategies for Spiraling (How Do I Begin?)...


S-Standards and data must be analyzed! Know your data!  Make sure you have a list of which students need which skills or which topics the students performed badly. I have some great I Can Student Self Assessment of Mastery packets for Science they make great learning logs that can be used to find weaknesses.  
P-Plan with a purpose!  Create a calendar and schedule for the month to ensure you are planning for review on content and skill deficits. Ensure you embed this into your lessons plans daily using your calendar and data list to group students.  Planning is key! 
I-Instruct differently for groups of students based on their needs 
R-Review and re-evaluate readiness through small assessments! Monitor student progress with frequent and varied assessment methods.  Reevaluate your calendar to ensure content and skills are applicable to student needs. 
A-Apply new knowledge in meaningful ways, like projects and real life scenarios or readings.

L-Learn from your practice.  Keep notes on what worked and what didn't. 

Resources that will help you Spiral Instruction: 

►Project Based Learning is vital way to ensure students are constantly taking the skills they have learned and apply them to real life situations over a period of time.  Projects usually take anywhere from 2-9 weeks and require students to take the content and skills learned and apply then to a project with key check points along the way.  
►Using centers as a conduit to spiral content and skills into instruction is a fantastic and engaging method to set up your spiral stations.  You could ensure that one station is dedicated to prior content learning as a review station.  This would allow student to regularly review previously learning content in meaningful ways.  Game Cards, Puzzles, Scavenger Hunts, and Anchor Chart review activities are all excellent ways to bring old content into your new lessons. 
Daily or weekly mini-lessons 
Mini projects such as Biography Cubes or Geography Continent Activities 


Use Anchor Charts as review or Bellringers (English Anchor Charts, American History Anchor Charts, Geography Anchor Charts, Civics Anchor Charts, Earth Science Anchor Charts, Life Science Anchor Charts, and Physical Science Anchor Charts) as Bellringers
Scavenger Hunts with I Cans and Mastery Tracking (English I CansEarth Science I Cans, Life Science I Cans, and Physical Science I Cans)
Game Cards for constant content review (think CENTERS) (American History Game Cards, World History Part 1 or Part 2 Game Cards,  Geography Game CardsCivics Game Cards, Economics Game Cards, English Game Cards,  Earth Science Game Cards, Life Science Game Cards, and Physical Science Game Cards)
Puzzles for constant content review (think CENTERS) (Earth Science Puzzles, Life Science Puzzles, and Physical Science Puzzles)
Timeline Relays (Google for Digital Classroom and Paper Versions) and Writing Activities  (American History Part 1 or Part 2 Timeline Relays, Civics Timeline Relays, World History Part 1 Timeline Relays)
Choice Boards (Google for Digital Classroom and Paper Versions)  to touch on content (American History Choice Boards, World History Part 1 and Part 2 Choice Boards, Geography Choice BoardsCivics Choice Boards, Earth Science Choice Boards, Life Science Choice Boards, and Physical Science Choice Boards)
Project Based Learning to continually build in real life scenarios or mini projects. (Geography Mini Continent Projects)



So, don't spiral out of control in 2017....just SPIRAL content into your already fabulous lessons.
--Another post by Learned Lessons Teacher Material

Resources to support spiraling in MY STORE include Anchor Charts, Game Cards, Timeline and Sequencing Activities, Choice Boards, Biography Cubes, and many other activities to make learning engaging and fun!  


Game Cards and Puzzles American History Timelines and Civics Sequencing
Digital Choice Boards for American History, Civics, World GeographyHis-Tree Biography Activities

Word Wall Pennants
 Curriculum Bundles

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