Sunday, December 21, 2014

Reviewing Beyond A(nother) Worksheet


After all the days of teaching a unit, doing practice work, quizzes and other formative assessments I find that I need to change it up a little bit for the review before an assessment. I have explored many different methods and want to share a few of my favorites with you. The results will of vary depending on the make-up of your class and how well they can keep the noise level down when being up and moving around!

My first favorite is to use station activities. Station activities can be designed in multiple ways. I have done some stations where students complete task cards at each station that focus on different skills or concepts for the unit. For example, I just finished a unit in Algebra on functions. My students had a station activity where each of the five stations focused on major skills - 1) finding the domain and range from a table/graph/mapping and identify whether it not it was a function, 2) evaluating functions, 3) writing a function rule from a table, 4) find the domain and range from a graph, and 5) applying functions to create distance time graphs. I found that this worked well because they were focusing in on one concept at a time and I could quickly identify if there were gaps or holes in their knowledge.

I have also done station activities where different stations actually have them completing tasks. I did one where one station has them going online (usually using i-pads) to look up a topic, one station had them constructing something out of pipe cleaners, another had them doing a matching activity, and two were problem solving. This type usually works better in a more visual class like Geometry. Regardless of the type that you use, make sure that you have a timer displayed and that students know the direction of rotation. Also, make sure to build in rotation time when you are planning out the lesson.

My second favorite form of review is to use a review game such as BINGO or Jeopardy. I especially like using BINGO in a unit that is identification heavy be it from vocabulary or diagrams. My students enjoy it because they get to a) compete, b) win prizes and c) be noisy! When setting up a BINGO game make sure that you either laminate your cards so that can be reused or have the students create their cards themselves. While I don't use Jeopardy as often, the times that I have I found that my students really enjoy it. The only drawback that I have yet to overcome is how to have students "buzz" in.

It was from this drawback and I discovered my favorite review game of all time to play in the classroom...KAHOOT! :) I love this game. My students love this game! It is a win-win situation all around. The game is free and if you search on the website there are ready made "Kahoots" already created that you can download and edit to suit your needs. The two essential requirements are a board to broadcast on and devices (i-pads, computers, phones) that can connect to the internet. It is an online game. Whenever I mention Kahoot my students get excited. They enjoy it so much that they ask if we can play. A really wonderful feature of Kahoot is that you can download the results and save them so that you can use it as a form of assessment or a record of their knowledge gained. Are there still units that I use a paper and pencil review on? Of course there because a review game or station activity won't fit every unit. But they are not always my go-to anymore. I still always create on though in case the technology goes down and so that absent students can still have a review to use to prepare for the assessment. How do you review?

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