Here are my top 10 strategies to use in the classroom when you are reviewing. Have any other strategies? Please fire off in the comments what you do!
Tic-Tac-Toe, What Do You Know?
Have subject & review questions ready
Create a tic-tac-toe board on the board or chart paper
Divide the class into two teams
If a team gets the answer right, have them fill in an X or O but if they get it wrong, the opposing team gets a chance to steal the point
The first team to tic-tac-toe wins.
Teacher Vs. Student
Have subject & review questions ready
Seat students on the floor with their whiteboards
Ask students a question and have them answer with their whiteboards (I find that students love this game during math time)
If almost all of the students get the right answer, I give them the points :)
If a lot of the students do not know the answer, the teacher gets the point and then walks the students through to get the correct answer
Have subject & review questions ready
Seat the students in a circle and have a ball ready to roll!
The teacher will ask a question, when the student knows the answer they put up a “personal thumbs up” (Thumbs up by their chest when they have the answer instead of raising their hands)
The teacher rolls the ball (for older students, you can throw the ball and have them sit on their desks) to a student who has the answer and the student answers
If the answer is correct, the teacher asks another question and the student with the ball rolls it to another student who has an answer
If the answer is wrong, the teacher can have the ball rolled to another student or review the question.
*Tip- When reviewing math, ensure that they have manipulatives or whiteboards if needed*
I Have Who Has?
**See attached handout for full rules, example and template. There are a lot of different subjects for this game on the internet**
Use this when reviewing vocabulary words, spelling words, or any other words you want your students to know how to spell.
The class forms a circle or line
The teacher says a list word.
The first student says the first letter of the word
The next in line says the second letter.
The student next in line says the third letter. This continues until all letters of the list word have been spoken.
The student in line AFTER the last letter, then says the list word.
The next student in line says "SPARKLE"
Anytime a student says the wrong letter, he is out and returns to his seat.
Whoever is left is the winner
BINGO is a great game that can be used from K-12 in any subject. There are a lot of templates available online for any subject from art to history! Check out Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) and Pinterest to find some great templates and already done BINGO games.
K-5 Math Teaching Resources
This is a great website that has a multitude of math games for K-5. These games can be adapted for high grades or even review for higher games. The best part is each of these games has a standard linked to it so you will be sure to know exactly what standards you are reviewing.
Trophies Game Boards
Trophies (The reading series) is not the only place to get blank game boards but I have found they copy the best. With these blank game boards, you can review spelling, phonics, math, history, art, and any other subject. I first write and copy as many game boards as I need for the week. Next, I glue them down onto a file folder and put the topic(s) and standard(s) on the outside for future reference.
Table Top Blogs
This is a favorite in my class. I will write review questions on a piece of chart paper either on the top or in the middle. I will separate my students into groups of about four to five. Next, I take the chart paper with the questions and put them around the room. My students do a little walk around the room and answer the question. The best way for me to keep track of who is writing and who is not is by having the students pick different colors (of markers) for each group they are in. I give them about two minutes per paper and then switch.
**You can view my blog for more detailed information about this strategy.**
This is a great way to review with students. I usually present a topic and have the students use sticky notes to write what they know and what they want to know. At the end of the unit, the students will take another sticky note and write three or so things they learned. This is a great way to review and also formatively assess the students
Bonus…. QR Codes and Augmented Reality are amazing ways of reviewing with students. They bring the classroom to life and make learning and studying more meaningful, informational, and engaging. I highly suggest checking these out and using them in your classroom!
Hopefully this list will help you find a trick or two that can help you review with your own students.
Leave a comment below letting my on any trick or tips that you have of our own, I can't wait to hear how you review in your own class!
I remember the first experience I had with differentiating in a classroom and man was I horrible at it. Three weeks after graduating college I was put into a second grade inclusion classroom with students who had already had three...yes three teachers before me. It wasn't easy and I got a lot of support from my team. In those six months that I was there, I learned that differentiating isn't easy but is necessary for every child.
Now enough of that, what I'm sure you want to know is how am I making it work now? Now differentiating is easier for me, while it is still not flawless, I have developed a system that has worked for me. Be forewarned, we don't do math rotations every single day. If my kids are struggling with a concept, we do it whole group and just nix the rotations.
Back to the rotations.... I'm sure that most of us have heard of the Daily 5 Reading and if you haven't, it is essentially a different way of looking centers and you let the students have their own choices. Really cool stuff if you ask me. I use the ideas from Daily 5 Reading to create my own version of Daily 5 Math. As you know, I am super geeky so of course there is technology included.
When first starting out, I assessed my students using a variety assessments; AIMS Web M-Comp, 3-minute math quiz, Discovery Education Assessment, and my own simple observations. Once I had decided where my students were at when it came to math, I created the sacred chart. Students were grouped depending on their scores from all of these different assessments. Once the groups were made, the fun began!
Typically, we do a Number Talks for the first part of our math session. My kids sit on the floor while I write a problem for them on the board for them to do mentally. After that, we usually go into a mini-lesson of what we are learning this week. This can range from 5 minutes to up to 20 or so. I just gauge where my kids are at and some days we end up skipping our math groups because I feel that they need more time.
On the days that we do our math groups my students have four rotations: Meet with Ms. Boucher, Sumdog.com (Computers), Math Worksheet/Math Facts, and Math Games.
When going on Sumdog.com (Computers), the students get to play for 10-15 minutes participating in contests, reinforcing their core skills, or practicing the standards that I have picked for that lesson. I can go onto Sumdog and decide how long I want my lessons to last as well as what standards I want my students to work on.
Meeting with Ms. Boucher is the most flexible of the four rotations. We will usually do a math problem in our math notebook (and more recently using the Educreations Application- Free on iTunes) and then reinforce the mini-lesson that we did that day. My students in the past two sessions have learned how to use the iPad and have even recorded their own math problems. (If you would like to see examples, please feel free to contact me).
Math Games come from K-5 Math Teaching Resources and are easy to use. Each game is linked to a standard, has instructions, and even has the materials needed for the games. The kids love to play these and have 2-3 games to pick from each week.
Math Worksheet/Math Facts can be done independently or with a partner, this is really when the students show what they know. The math worksheet is whatever we have learned about that day and should only take 5-10 minutes. I wanted to keep all of my rotations under 15 as I have 11 boys who are bored after that amount of time ;)
When they are done, my students do Math Facts which is just flash cards that I have made out of construction paper. They get a new set every 2-3 weeks, one to keep at home and one set to keep at school.
After I have rotated with all of my students, they get ready to transition into the next subject. I have found this system to work much better than typical lecturing and doing everything with the students. When learning a new skill like we did this week, I kept the students at their desk majority of the time and we used manipulatives and went through each problem together.
I am not opposed to doing this when needed, but I have found that I can really see where my students are struggling when they come back with me that I never want to go back to the old way. I love my math groups, I love the technology used, and I also love the independence that my students are learning.
How do you structure your math time? What works for you and what doesn't?
I would love to hear what you use in your classroom!
Have a great rest of the week and
Sara Boucher is a Robotics and Computer Programming Teacher in Los Lunas, NM who is developing her own set of super geeks.