Test Review – Make it Fun!

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Review games an alternative to end of the year testing review
Does test review make you feel like this?  I know that I have as a teacher – so I can’t imagine how much more my students have.  We do it because we want them to be prepared.  We do it because “practice makes perfect.”  We do it because we feel we have to.
It’s testing season ago.  Whether I like it or hate it is not the question.  Whether you like it or hate it doesn’t matter.  The fact is that at this current time in our educational system it is here and it carries weight.   So like it or not, test review is something that we as teachers need to address in our bag of tricks.
Every year I have been part of a “Test Review Week” the week before testing.  We have always taken the approach of fun ways to review and dropped the drill & kill and reading passages.  If they don’t know it by now, they probably won’t next week.  So a change of pace is good for the students and the teachers!
Our Prep Week usually looked like 2 days of Reading and 2 days of Math rotations.  Each teacher on the team chooses a different review activity.  Depending on the number of classes, each rotation lasts anywhere from 45 min. to an hour and a half.  It really just depends on the schedule and what we can make work.

Every year, my test review activity is Jeopardy style review games for math and reading.  Every year?  Yes – every year!  Why?  Because it works!  The kids love it and it paves the way for great review and discussion.

I don’t have a fancy buzzer system or anything like that in my room but you could totally use a system like that if you have access to one.  I just put the group into teams of 3 or 4 and we just rotate around the room.  My goal was for the team to work together to talk through the question, how to answer it, and if there was disagreement give their explanation to the team.  The team could not submit their answer unless everyone agreed.  So if there was disagreement they had to convince their team they were right.  This was the crux of the learning and review.

Additionally, I wanted to make sure that everyone is working on every question so their were getting all of the review and not just every 4th or 5th question.  So, I implemented this rule:  If a team gets the questions wrong, I will randomly (drawing sticks, rolling a dice, etc.)  pick another team to steal the points.  However, they stealing team did not get additional time to answer the question, they had to have their answer ready to go.  This really got the teams talking and figuring out the answer for every single question just in case the other team did not know the answer.

Every year the kids were engaged and having fun.  They were reviewing multiple topics and practicing many different skills.  It has and continues to be a great review day activity!  When the kids cheer when it starts and groan when its over and did lots of review and learning in between – it’s a win-win activity!

The Reading game covers the following reading areas: Context Clues, Fact and Opinion, Cause and Effect, Reading for Details, Inferencing and Main Idea. The Final Jeopardy question is on Poetry.  The Math game covers Number Lines, Story Problems, Geometry, Graphs, Fractions, Area, Perimeter, Input/Output, Time and Probability.

Want to know how we ended Prep Week – with a relaxing day that didn’t focus on the test at all.  We’ve done family picnics, days of reading in desk forts, and more!  For more testing time ideas visit my Test Time Pinterest board.

 I’d love to know how you tackle reviewing for the end of the year tests.

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