The ethos behind my department's use of knowledge organisers:
In my previous blogs, I have discussed the elements of a good knowledge organiser and I have explained the process I use to write knowledge organisers. My school creates knowledge organisers on the principle that they should contain the foundational knowledge needed to be successful in a topic. However, unless knowledge organisers are effectively woven into a unit of work, they serve as add-ons which very few pupils will independently take advantage of.
The humanities department in my school has developed a system which ensures that knowledge organisers can be used to their maximum benefit and that their use is underpinned by methods advocated by contemporary research into cognitive science, specifically self-testing, interleaved practice and spaced practice.
The process which we use to give feedback is also designed to minimise teacher workload while ensuring pupil accountability.
The general uses of knowledge organisers:
While knowledge organisers take time to write properly, once made, they are extremely versatile. In our department, knowledge organisers serve four purposes:
An extra support for pupils during lessons.
A method to ensure that pupils who are in isolation do not miss content and use their time effectively while they are outside the classroom.
A tool to ensure that pupils who have been absent or who have joined the school late in the year can close gaps in their learning.
The basis of all homework tasks to reinforce taught knowledge.
The primary use of knowledge organisers in my school is for homework. All pupils are given a knowledge organiser for the current topic (we emphasise the importance of retaining them) and an A5 'quiz book' for each subject.
How we use knowledge organisers for homework:
Homework tasks based around knowledge organisers are always one of two tasks:
Writing quiz questions and answers about sections from the knowledge organiser.
Quizzing on previously written quizzes to recap content.Continued Here