Spicing Up Unit/Test Review!
We have our state science test on Monday and Tuesday morning, and I was given fill-in-the-bubble booklets for all my students to review with-about 250 multiple choice questions. Of course, we’ve had Smarter Balance ELA and Math tests up until this past Thursday, so Friday was an extreme cram session. Four hours of science review covering both fourth and fifth grade-NOT a recipe for fun, my friends. Oh, but what is that you say? My kids were begging for MORE review? Yeah, I know. I can hardly believe it myself. But it’s true. I broke out the tap lights, Jeopardy gameboard, Wheel of Fortune spinner, whiteboards and more. They couldn’t get enough. Read on for ideas on how to spice up YOUR review time and tell us your favorite game/prize idea in the comments!
These beauties are just $1 each at The Dollar Tree (or through Amazon here). I give each student group one of the lights, and they smack it when they know the answer to the question. Because my eyes aren’t fast enough to look at 6 tap lights at once, I also ask they make a ‘buzz’ noise (shouts are automatic disqualifiers). I make the final call on teams that tap at the same time. The best part about this game is that you don’t need to prepare anything ahead of time-just pass out the lights and read the questions!
This is an oldie, but goodie. I didn’t have time to fill in a Jeopardy gameboard with the answers ahead of time, so I just labeled the questions in my master book with a $ amount and the category title. Chemistry $100, Plants, $300, Human Body $500, etc. Then I projected the image of the gameboard on my Smartboard, and the groups picked a category/amount. I crossed off that square so future groups knew it was no longer available, and read them the question from the review booklet. They loved trying to figure out the strategy with the dollar amounts. If you are looking for general Smartboard template, click here. If you are looking for a general Powerpoint template, click here.
Wheel of Fortune
Again, this is an easy game to do without any prep ahead of time. Project the spinning wheel onto your board and have the groups send one member up to spin. The amount of money they land on is what their question is worth. Read the question to them, and if they get it right, they get the money in their bank! If they get it wrong, no money for them. I always have them spin again if they land on Loose a Turn or Bankrupt-I want every team to have a shot at a question each time it’s their turn. 😉 For a Smartboard template, click here.
This is a really simple game, but the kids love it. Each team has one small whiteboard and a marker. When I read the question, their group looks at the possible answers in their booklet and writes the letter of the answer on the whiteboard. When I call time, each group holds up the whiteboard with the letter they think is correct. I then announce the correct letter and give a point to each team that had it. They started to get very fancy in their ‘fonts’ as well as decorating around the letters. I finally had to cut that out because they were taking so much time to add swirls and flowers and stars! Anyhow, this is super simple, but the kids really dug it.
If you have a Smartboard, you might have what I call Egg Clickers. They look like little eggs and sit in the palm of your hand. Those are GREAT for review. If you don’t have them, or a Smartboard, but you DO have iPads, you can use an app called Socrative that acts like the clickers. Students choose an answer and all student responses are aggregated on your computer/projector for whole-class viewing. Check out the iTunes link by clicking here.
-I use a microphone when I act as Game Show Host-it helps when trying to talk over the buzz of teams working, and gives it an air of fun.
-I do have prizes for the winning team. I’m trying to stay away from food as prizes, so I had to get creative. I found a few wind-up toys and light-up bunnies on the Easter clearance shelf at the local Rite-Aid, but they weren’t enough. So I grabbed a bag of colored plastic Easter eggs. My original thought was to put a slip of paper into each one with a prize on it, but time ran out. So I assigned a secret prize to each color, and told the students I would reveal the prizes at the end of the day. It was great fun seeing them debate between the yellow and orange egg, trying to figure out which would be the better prize. Kids earned extra Dojo points, glitter pencils, a free $1 book from the book order, a homework pass, etc., depending on the color of the egg. Lastly, I found a bag of those plastic ice cubes-20 cubes for $2. In my desperation, I bought them. I kid you not-they were the BIGGEST hit of the day! Everyone wanted a plastic ice cube to freeze at home and put in their drinks at dinner. They wanted to collect all the colors. They wanted to line them up on their desk, trade them with each other, talk about how they could get more. For 10 cents an ice cube, it was the cheapest prize I had available and all 20 were gone by the end of the day. They made me promise to get more for our next review, and I couldn’t believe my luck in it all! 😉
-The kids just ate this review day up, which made me realize that I don’t play enough games with them. This list if mostly for myself to refer to in the future-I’m going to aim to do some sort of game review each week for one of our topic areas. The kids loved working as a team and having the chance to win a prize, and I loved hearing them debate answers regarding chemical reactions and the digestive system. That’s what I call a win-win!!
Other Game Resources
There are lots of other great review game options for both spontaneous reviews and for reviews that you have time to prepare ahead for. Check out the links below for both types!
Big Wheel: Simply click “Spin the Wheel” and total up the points in the columns on the right.
Home Run Day: Instructor asks a question, if a student or team gets the question correct, the teacher clicks a button that swings at the the ball. Computer then determines if it was a home run or an out. The team with the most home runs at the end of the game wins.
Align the Stars: Plays similar to Connect Four board game. When a team answers a question correctly they are allowed to pick a star on the board. First team to line up four stars in vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line wins.
Goal Kick Competition: Which team will score the most goals first? If a student or team gets the question correct, the teacher clicks a button which kicks the ball. Scores for each kick are added until a winner is declared.
Racing Game: Click a button on the screen and the car or horse moves one step closer to the finish line and victory.
Football Score Attack: An engaging football themed game for the whole class! Instructor asks a question, if a student or team gets the question correct, the teacher clicks a button that runs a play. Computer then determines if it was a touchdown, field goal, or fumble. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Sunken Treasure: There is treasure buried behind one of the square grids overlaying this picture of islands. Can you find it?
What’s Behind the Box?: Place a picture behind the boxes, then you remove one box at a time until the entire picture is uncovered. Allowing students opportunities to guess the picture all along the way.
Grudgeball: Great interactive game that pits teams against each other in more ways than one.
6 Simple Games: These great hands-on games can be applied quickly and easily to any set of review questions!
Graffiti Board: All you need is a whiteboard, a marker and a list of the topics that will be on your test!
Zap!: Great template to use with any set of review questions
Connect Four: Smartboard template
Time to Prepare for Reviews
Big Board Facts: Similar to Jeopardy. Put your who, what, when, where questions onto the board and let students try to answer them for points.
Spot-On: Bingo chips and Powerpoint-super fun!
Giant Sorry Board: This is great, and shows you could turn any classic game into a human-sized version!
Hot Seats: Or rather, the Oprah game. Questions are put on cards and taped under chairs. Super fun!
Bazinga: Great game for older students that might be familiar with the Big Bang Theory. Make the board once and re-use again and again!
Stinky Feet: You need to make the game board ahead of time, but can then re-use over and over for any review.
Chaos: I can see my kids really liking this-time crunches seem to make the motivation go through the roof!
Heartbreakers: Will be a spontaneous game once you’ve created the original hearts!