This time of year can be very STRESSFUL as we all are preparing for the state test. Students are tired of the traditional constant review. To be honest, who wouldn’t be tired of it? Sometimes we just need to shake up our normal routine to help our students get their MOJO back before the test.
I have always looked at my job as if I’m not enjoying it and having fun, then I know my students aren’t. Are their times to have boring activities in the room? Nope, I don’t believe so. You can make everyday skills fun, engaging, and relevant to their lives. Your students should be excited to come to class every day, even during review time. To help you make this happen, I’ve included some EASY stress-free ways to make your students feel like ROCKSTARS before the test. YOU might actually feel like one too!
#1 ATTACK! created by: Math in the Middle.
This is a review game that can be used with any subject. I use this game a lot in the classroom. It never gets old! (click HERE to get a copy)
Students draw a castle or any seasonal picture. (I have been using a bunny for spring.) Students are divided up into small groups. Each group will work on the same question because they do not know which group will be chosen to answer. If the group chosen gets the correct answer, they can ATTACK two groups by putting an “X” on their picture. Once a group has three “X’s” on their castle or picture, it has been destroyed. However, they are still in the game and can attack other teams. The team with the last standing castle or picture is the winner.
Pull out those task cards you have used throughout the year. Put them in a center and let them play a game of Jenga. You can get the mini version at a Dollar Tree near you. Students simply take a turn answering the question on the task card. If they answer it correctly they can pull a block and place it on the top. They continue until all the blocks come tumbling down. Task cards with QR codes are an easy way for them to check their answers. If your task cards do not have them, assign the student to the right of the one taking the turn to have a copy of the answer sheet. They will pass the answer sheet around the group as each student takes a turn.
(check it out here)
To spice up the constructive response activities or essay writing practice, have students use Flipgrid.com. You can create a FREE account and assign a topic for students to create a video. Students record a short video (90-seconds) and once they are satisfied with their recording, they take a selfie and can decorate their picture with stickers like in the Snapchat or Instagram apps. After writing their constructive response or essay, they can record a video of their writing or essay. This is a great opportunity for them to hear possible errors in their writing. Give them a rubric (which you probably already use for these activities) and let them check their own work. Students are able to view fellow classmates videos as they complete them. This would also be a great opportunity to get peer feedback. Simply assign students to view one or two others and use the rubric to assess their writing.
For math, you may have them write word problems and record them for their fellow classmates. In addition, they could choose 3-5 problems to work out from the class recordings. Students could also video themselves explaining how they worked out a problem you assigned them.
Science/Social Studies: Students could explain steps in a process, life cycle, or timeline. They could create drawings or diagrams to use with their videos. There are so many possibilities!!
#4 3 In a Row
This is a partner game that students can create themselves. They will use the blank board (get it here) to fill in their information on the topic you assign and then use matching cards to play the game. For example, if students are studying math facts they will use the calling cards and board to fill in the problems and answers. They might put the first problem on the calling card and the answer on the board. For the next one, they may put the problem on the board and then write the answer on the calling card. Once they have completed the board and calling cards, they will switch with their partner. They will take turns drawing a card and placing a playing chip on the correct answer/problem. The first one with “3 in a row” wins.
#5 Roll the Dice
This is a super easy game. Divide the students up into small groups. Ask a group a question. If they get the answer correct, they may roll the dice and earn the total number of points rolled. See, super easy!!
I hope that you have a little enjoyment as you are getting ready for state testing. Let me know what you do to make it more fun. I would love to hear your ideas.