I did a review for the writing test this year that can be switched up for math and reading - Surfing Through the TAKS Test. They played games in teams based on what they needed to review for the test - capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, etc... and then when they got a correct answer they could play the game - parrot ring toss, sand bucket toss, capitalization beach ball bash (hot potato with a twist). They received points and the team with the most points got to pick a prize from the prize box. I even decorated the room and I gave the kids sun visors and leis. They loved it! They are even asking if we are doing something like this again before the reading and math TAKS tests. I'm thinking of a 50's Sock Hop. It really relaxes the kids, lets them have fun before the long days of torture and they realize that they really are ready for the test. Hope this helps. If you need more details, let me know.
For the writing, I put them in 2 teams - sometimes boys vs girls or red shirts vs blue shirts, etc... They raced against each other in some events and in others, one team answered and the other team had to be ready to answer the same question just in case they got it wrong. For the review I'm doing for reading and math, I'm going to take about 45 minutes for each subject and have the students rotate through stations in groups of 3-4. I'm also going to do games that are similar to board races, where one member from each group races against each other to answer the question correctly and the first correct answer is the winner. I'm still planning the upcoming one, when I have more details I can give you more information. Let me know if you have any other specific questions. I'm happy to help!
I will start playing jeopardy games with my students. If you go to google and search for powerpoint jeopardy games, you will find a ton of resources. I have downloaded some of the games (with questions and answers already created) to use for a review. A few of the games allow the students to play against the teacher. The kids love that!!
I like the games idea. Do your games take a lot of preparation?? Perhaps, I can think of something for next week. Or maybe the students can work on creating a game for next week.
Copy a reading TAKS practice 3 times, one for you and two to cut up.
Pick 2 different colors of construction paper. Cut one TAKS practice up so that the paragraphs and questions are completely individual, and tape/paste them on to one color. Do the same with the other TAKS practice and other colored construction paper. Laminate these and then cut them up. Put them into separate gallon bags.
That's how you prepare for it.
In my class, I separate the kids into 2 big groups, but really, if you wanted, it can be done in smaller groups, you'd just have to prepare more copies of the TAKS practice. When they are in their groups, I nominate a group leader. The group leader's job is to be in charge of the bag, the paragraphs, the questions, etc. It is also their job to make sure everyone participates and to get their quiet when they have their answers. Once the group leader is picked, I pass the bags to the group leaders, and they separate the paragraphs and questions. I tell them to put the questions back into the bag because we won't need them for a while. The group leader passes a paragraph to every one. Sometimes, people get 2 paragraphs, sometimes they get none. It's the way the cookie crumbles. If they don't get to read a paragraph, the group leader has to give them a question during the question part of the game. The students take turns reading their paragraphs out loud to the group. I tell them to think about which paragraph would come first and last in the passage. Once everyone is done reading, they signal they are finished by sitting quietly in the circle and waiting for the other group to finish if necessary. It usually takes about 10 minutes.
We play this game as a class because I want to make sure that they are with each other every step of the game. The first thing they have to do is to find the first paragraph. That's the hardest thing for them to do. And I don't help them. They have to figure it out for themselves. One thing I tell them is "If you know an answer is right, fight for it. Argue it. Find evidence to support your answer." And they do. I let them fight it out because sometimes you have to. The final decision lies with the group leader, but the other students' job is to convince the group leader of the right answer.
So, they get the first paragraph. I call on one group and then the other. If it's right, I give both teams a point. If they're both wrong, it's back to the drawing board and no points. If one is right and the other is wrong, we talk about why that answer is correct.
And so we do this for all paragraphs in the passage. It takes a good 30-40 minutes to put the passage back in order, but they're using their objectives (sequencing, etc.) to put the passage in order, so I'm cool with this.
Then, it comes time for the questions. We do the same thing, pass out questions, go in order 1-?, and each team gives a response. To keep it getting to loud, I may occassionally say, "Oh! I heard their answer! If you heard it, you can steal it!" And they quiet down pretty quickly. I also award points for good sportsmanship, but I don't tell them that in advance.
The whole game takes about an hour to and hour and a half, but the kids have a good time. The winner gets a prize. In my class, we have the evil Mr. TAKS who writes the TAKS tests. The winners get to throw markers at him. It's a Mr. TAKS Marker Dart Board! We drew him on a big sheet of butcher paper. I drew the head and shoulders, but then, each student contributed something to the drawing, making him one of the most appalling drawings ever. I gave each part of him a money amount, so if they hit it, they get a certain amount of money (because I have a money system in my room, not real money).
I know the post is long (and is probably a little confusing), but the game is really fun and worth it.
I have given each of my students 4 different colored squares with letters on them (a,b,c,d) to correspond to multiple choice answers. All A's are red, all B's are blue, etc. I present a question on the overhead or on a sheet the students have, give them a moment to think or work out the problem, then say "choices up". They all hold up the answer they think is correct. The students like being active and holding up a choice, and it also gives me an opportunity to get immediate feedback on what problems the students understand, and what ones need working on. It will work for just about any type of question, and it's a great way to break up test-prep. My kids are still asking to use the cards even though we have finished our testing this year!
If you have a class where students may be a bit more sensitive to sharing their answers, I find that it helps to have students think-pair-share first, then do "choices up".
As an extention I put a multiplication, division, additon and subtraction symbol on the back of each card. This helps when we are learning about what operation(s) need to be done when solving word problems. I laminated them too.
I get sample tests and cut them into individual questions. I number the questions and I put one question on each individual desk. I have the students number a separate piece of paper. (If there are 19 questions, they number 1-19)
Starting at their desks, they answer the question. Make sure that if they are on question number 7, for example, they put their answer (ABCD) at 7. Students will tend to want to start with 1 on their answer sheet. The first few times you do this, you will want to monitor to make sure they do this part correctly.
I give the students about a minute or so to answer, then I ring a bell. When the bell rings, students move from their desk to the next number in order. I make sure to arrange the questions in numerical order to make it easier to rotate. When the students get to the last question, they go to the #1 question. When students get back to their own desks, they have had a chance to answer all the questions.
Done, except for closure.
Some things that I've done are to then go over all the questions and have the student answer the question at their desk and have the students self check.
Once, I had the students mark the answers to the one on their desk, and then have the students rotate around a second time checking their answers. (Students were allowed to challenge an answer, which allowed me to make sure there weren't any mistakes.)
Note: Usually, I have the students sit at each desk, but last time I did this, I had the students push the chairs in and stand at each desk. It seemed to make it easier to rotate quickly through the questions.
I have my kids do a practice test. then they are the teacher...i call them up by their last name, just like if they were a teacher. They read the question and pick someone to answer it then they mark on the one i have up on the overhead.