Tree Diagram...

Submitted by display_name_fallback on

For the last couple of years I have noticed that students tend to forget what they have learned even after scoring well in the exams.
Once students learn a new module/chapter, most of them seem to completely forget about the previous chapters which is not a very good sign especially for a mathematics student.
I was thinking on how to keep students in touch base with every chapters/sections they learn so that they wont forget what they have already learned, which helps them in learning a new topic which is connected to the previous. As a trial basis, in my last semester( MAT 121) I made a slight change in my lesson plan, where I use the first couple of minutes to revise or ask questions from the first chapter to till date, how it is relevant in daily life, and request them to fill in the "Tree Diagram" as attached here with. In this manner students get to remember the topics as well as how each topic is connected to the next topic and so on. This was a spark from one of the workshops of Mr.Peter Turner, ( Bark of Tree..Bush...Connection).This activity takes only a few minutes of the class and helps students to get an overall picture of what they have learned that semester.

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Norma Jimenez Hernandez Fri, 04/15/2016 - 10:12pm

How do you assess to see if students are able to remember the information?

display_name_fallback Sat, 04/16/2016 - 11:14am

Before the final exam, i conduct a group game where each table is a team and each team ask about 10 questions like "why did you learn factoring?"

rest of the team should explain one by one and the team with  best answer wins point. This exercise allows us to assess that the students have a better picture of what they have learned. compared to my MWF class, the TR class has shown considerable improvement where i introduced this concept. In the next semester, i will definetly record some data.

Heather Muns Sat, 04/16/2016 - 10:16pm

I think the data you speak of above will help you truely close the loop on this great CATS. 

Olga Tsoudis Sun, 04/17/2016 - 4:06pm


This is a good visual tool to help students remember.

Do you have any results comparing courses where you used it with those courses where you did not?



Peter Turner Mon, 04/18/2016 - 2:06pm

I do love this technique for a variety of reasons - the "spiraled" recall, the use of a nonlinguistic representation, the use of the beginning of class to get the students focused, etc. I would love to see some data whereby you compare classes that use this technique either with past classes or comparable classes that you didn't use this technique. The bottom line - how do you know it is working? (I'm sure it is helping, but data always speaks louder than words!)

Becky Baranowski Mon, 04/18/2016 - 2:52pm

I've wondered how to use this in my math class.  Pete shared this with us at a leadership council meeting, but I wasn't sure how to use it for math.  Thanks for sharing this....I may use it this semester for my next exam.  

Jennifer Shannon Thu, 04/21/2016 - 7:48am

I think this would be very helpful in the math courses. Thank you for sharing. I definitely think it would be a useful tool for studying for a final exam.