In many school settings, the end of December and/or beginning of January are characterized by a review of the learning that has been done throughout the semester. There are many fun ways to review material ranging from simple to complex in nature. Here are some suggestions for review games and resources that can be adapted across the spectrum of age, grade, and content. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section of the blog to encourage others and expand their teaching tool-kits.
Stand Up/Sit Down: Have every student stand up behind their chairs. In order to sit down (or if done at the end of class, in order to leave the room) the student must answer a question correctly. If a student answers a question incorrectly, you can pass the question along to another student to answer, or you can give the student a chance to redeem his mistake. This can be a very quick and effective way to start a class (anticipatory set) or wrap it up (closing). And because it is so simple, the variations in play are endless.
Pair & Share: Ask students to share with a neighbor one of the concepts that they’ve learned in the past, explaining key terms, and illustrating with examples.
Terms Bingo: Have the students divide a piece of paper into 9 squares (3 across, 3 down, 3 diagonal). Into each square have students write a name of a term. Students mark off the term squares as you read the definition of the terms aloud one by one. The first student to get “Bingo” (a row of three consecutive terms) and to correctly define the terms they’ve marked wins. A good variation on this theme is for you to create the boards and randomly insert two to three terms, allowing the students to generate the rest. This allows you to be sure that students are not just practicing the terms they already know.
Stump the Teacher: Allow the students several minutes to review their notes, assignments, or reading. Then open the floor, encouraging the students to ask the questions they think will “stump the teacher.” This game works best when you have only a short amount of time to fill, as students often run out of questions if it continues for too long.
Variations of Popular Game Shows: There are a number of on-line templates to help teachers set up their own version of games such as Jeopardy, Hollywood Squares, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Many of these sites work off a basic PowerPoint presentation and can be adapted for individualized classroom use. Here are some links to get you started: http://teach.fcps.net/trt2/links/powerpointgames.htm, http://teach.fcps.net/trt4/FETC03/fun2.htm, and http://www.edtechnetwork.com/powerpoint.html.