This is a guide for parents, carers and anyone who wants to support students to use their Knowledge Navigators*.
By now you will be familiar with Knowledge Navigators, as students carry them in their folders and are expected to use them for independent study. Since we started using these at DKA, we have seen an increase in how much students know, but we do understand that some have found it difficult to know what to do with Knowledge Navigators. So, here are three ways that you can help them make the most of their knowledge navigators.
Quiz them regularly
We are more likely to remember things by regular quizzing than if we just read them. Sometimes, students can think they know something well but they can’t actually remember it when testing. Not only does testing actually help them to remember, but it shows them where they might need to put some extra practice.
If the Knowledge Navigator has a list of words with definitions, you could read out the word and ask them to explain what it means. Or you could do this in reverse. With dates, you can ask “what happened in …?” or “What year did … happen?”
You can ask them just to write down everything that they remember. Then, when finished, use the Knowledge Navigator to fill in the gaps.
Flashcards are a really simple way to quiz regularly. We like the Leitner system as a simple way of getting the most out of flashcards.
Ask them to elaborate
Sometimes a fact may be known but it is not totally useful in isolation, so connecting it to other things that the student knows is beneficial. Some questions that you might ask are:
- Why is this true?
- How do you know this?
- What ideas is this similar to?
- What are the causes and effects of this?
Once again, there are a number of benefits to this. The first is that it helps connect knowledge together – and the better that knowledge connects to other things students know, the more likely it is to stick. If the answers to any of the questions above is “I don’t know” then it is a useful signpost for further study.
Organise what they know in different ways
We want the knowledge contained on Knowledge Navigators to be used fully. No examination will simply ask for them to list the ideas from the Knowledge Navigator . Therefore, it is helpful to be able to arrange the information in different ways. Not only this, but organising information in different ways will help to remember it.
Easy ways to organise information:
- Categorise information into lists
- Put things in order e.g. most to least
- Use graphic organisers to present information differently. The most well-known of these is the mind-map/ spider diagram, but there are many useful forms.
Most of these strategies are applicable to revision in general. If you want to read more about the best strategies for revision, this is a really useful guide.
Sign up to the Bradford Research School newsletter here.
*We call them Knowledge Navigators at Dixons Kings. These can also be known as Knowledge Organisers or 100% sheets.