Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fun Review Strategies

Whenever you find yourself with some extra time to fill or reviewing information with students for an upcoming test, you might want to try some of these fun review strategies. Some can be used whenever you have a few minutes to spare before the bell rings, while waiting in line for Art or PE, or you need a time-filler between activities. Others are perfect for long review sessions to prepare students for an upcoming assessment. Whatever your need, I think you’ll find these activities to be motivating and fun for everyone.

In Class Review Sessions

Review Bingo
BINGO is such a fun game to play and you can adapt it to review for all sorts of different information. Be sure to point out in advance whether you are playing line, T, or blackout (full card) to win. Below are a few variations:
1. Put vocabulary words on BINGO cards and call out the definitions.
2. Put math equations on BINGO cards and call out answers.
3. Put capitol cities on BINGO cards and call out states or countries.
4. Put song names, note names, musician or artist names, styles of art, names of sports, etc. on BINGO cards. You can then call out the musician, artist or time period, and rules of a sport.
5. Put element names on BINGO cards. Show pictures of atoms. Students place their marker on the correct element for each atom.
There are many different ways to adapt this fun game to help you review information!

Learning Chain
Cut different colored construction paper (light colors only) into long strips. Give each student several strips and have them write a review fact, word & definition, or rule on each strip. Next, have students create a loop with the strip of paper, adding the loops together to make a chain. You can do this as a whole class, in small groups, or as individuals. Then have each individual or small group share the information they chained together.
A variation on this is to create a chain yourself with one question per link. During review time have the students come up one at a time and pull a link from the chain. The student then reads the question aloud. All the students write (or call out) the answer to the question.

This is a fun game to play with students for review questions. Sort your information into four or five categories. On one side of a piece of construction paper write a fact students need to know (or it could be a question). On the other side write a point value (ie – 100 pts, 250 pts, 500 pts). Break students into teams. One at a time, students on each team choose a category & point value. Flip the card over and read the fact or question. Students then either identify a question to go with the fact or answer the question. If they are correct, record the points for their team.

Open Windows
Have students take a sheet of paper and fold it in half four times until they end up with a small square. When opening the paper, there should be 16 small squares. Depending on the age of your students and the amount of information you are studying, you can fold it either more or less (or use several sheets of paper).
Next, give students a sheet of numbered review questions (or place one on your overhead or projector station). Have students write the answers to each question in the squares (one per square). They should not write the answers in order, but should mix them up on the page. Be sure to have students write the number of the question next to the answer. (Ex: 1) a reptile; 2) a mammal)

Once students have written all the answers in each square, have them paste their full page of answers onto a piece of construction paper.

Next, give students a second piece of construction paper and have them fold it the same as before, into 16 squares the same size as their answer squares. Have students write each numbered review question on a separate square. Students should then cut out each square so that they have 16 individual squares.

Match the numbered question square to the correct answer square and tape it at the top so that the question now covers the answer, but can be lifted like a flap. When finished, every answer should be covered by the corresponding question.

The finished product is a page of flaps. Students read the question, try to answer it on their own, then raise the flap to see if they got the answer correct. This makes a great review sheet to take home and use with their parents for studying.

Review Time Fillers

Who/What Am I?
This review game is like 20 questions. Choose a person, place, or thing from your unit of study. Students then ask questions to help them determine the person, place, or thing you’ve chosen. Remind them that they only get 20 questions to figure it out.
Have strips of paper with a person, place, or thing you are studying written on each. Place these in a jar, hat, or box. Students take turns pulling one out and acting/drawing it for the class to guess.

This is a great game for reviewing spelling and vocabulary words. Again, have the words written each on a strip of paper for students to draw from a box. The student should draw the correct number of spaces for the word chosen. You can also choose for them to have a “clue” by providing the definition of the word.

Matching Partners
Think of connected ideas, people, or events that could be matched for your unit of study. Write each of these on white or construction paper. Attach a page to the back of each student so they cannot see who or what they are. Make sure you have enough to match up correctly. Students must then walk around the class and ask questions to: 1) determine who/what is on their sign and 2) locate their partner.

Thoughts for Reflection:
What kinds of review activities do you utilize in your classroom? Do you find your students actively engaged or snoozing? Which of the activities listed above do you think you might use with your students? Which do you think might be most effective with your students? Why? How might you modify any one of these activities to best fit your subject area and the students you teach? What other common board games or tv game shows could you adapt to use in the classroom for reviewing information?

Inspirational Quote:
“I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”
~Winston Churchill

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