These are a Few of My Favorite Games–5 Easy Games for the Classroom
I love Jeopardy for review in my classroom–who doesn’t? But I also like to mix things up. And let’s face it, Jeopardy for every unit can get redundant. But I’ve had the PowerPoint template for years, and I happen to have a Jeopardy game for each of my units in several subjects.
Does anybody else remember the poster board with pockets filled with index cards? “Those were the days.” Sigh….
I’m a huge fan of jeopardy as a review game, but this year, I’m on a mission to mix things up. And so I have, for better or for worse. Here are some review games you’ll find my classes playing this year:
Okay, this is a simple twist on Jeopardy for the teacher who has Jeopardy games already made, but wants to try something different. Students really get into it, and it’s informal–like trivia night at a pizza joint. Here’s how I do it:
-Put the students in groups of 4.
-Have them tear a piece of paper into scraps, and place their group number on each scrap.
-Project one question at a time.
-Set a timer for between 30 and 60 seconds.
-In that amount of time, students must agree on an answer in their groups, write it on a scrap piece of paper with their number on it, and send a group member to hand it to me.
-If they get it to me with the correct answer before time is up, their group gets a point.
-When the board is complete, the group with the most points wins (extra credit, a treat, etc…).
This one requires almost no prep. You just need two flyswatters (I like the fun ones you can buy at dollar stores, bees, ladybugs, hands, and such) and to write a list of words, spread out, on your whiteboard. Here’s How to Play
-Divide the class into two teams.
-Write vocabulary words on the board.
-1 student from each team comes to the board.
-Teacher reads a definition.
-The first student to hit the correct word with the flyswatter wins a point for their team (be sure to give them a limit for the number of swats they can take [I make it two] or they will just start randomly swatting words).
-The team with the most points after everyone has had a turn wins (candy, extra credit…).
Hectic day? Need a little peace but also need to review? Talking during this game would defeat the purpose. Give it a try:
-Divide the class into two teams.
-Number the students (have them write their number down so that they don’t forget!).
-Say, “person 5 against person 5,” and read a question.
-The fives from each team should run to the board, and write what they think is the correct answer.
-The first to write the correct answer wins a point for their team.
-If neither get it right, call a different set up (for example, person 10 against person 10).
They should not talk during this game, and once you’ve read all of the cards, and each one has been given a correct answer, the team with the most points wins. If they insist on being rowdy and shouting out answers, just stop the game, and have them make up a practice test with an answer key based on their notes….tee-hee.
This is an amazing Kagan Structure that provides valuable review and has saved my tail on more than one occasion when I’ve either not had enough time for a full review game or have just had a few extra minutes in class that aren’t filled. I always keep a couple of sets of my vocabulary flash cards printed from quizlet.com on hand just in case. Here’s how it goes:
– -Each student gets a flash card.
-Set the timer for 5 minutes.
-Students circulate the room.
-Students turn to a partner.
-Partner 1 shows the word on her card to partner 2.
-Partner 2 gives the definition (if he doesn’t know it, partner 1 reads the definition [don’t waste time trying to remember it; this is a quick review]).
-Partner 2 shows his word to partner 1.
-Partner 1 gives the definitions.
-Partners 1 &2 swap cards.
-They seek out new partners and repeat until the timer goes off.
This one take some up-front planning, but once the students “get it,” you can relax and facilitate. Ahhhh…you’re not the leader of this game. This game uses dice, a card deck, and a round card for each player or team.
You can make it all yourself–just watch the video below. Or you can get my version HERE. The card deck is editable, so that you can easily add your own questions and answers. Check out the video here:
Have fun, and keep ’em learning! What are some of your favorite review games? leave a comment below, and let me know. Until next week,
As we embark on a year of uncertainty, we must consider equity and distance learning. This post discusses how to make virtual learning more equitable in 3 steps and comes with a downloadable cheat sheet.
Do you feel like you’re teaching in uncertain times? You’re not alone. But there are certain things that will always be certain. Like–your students need you to be there for them. Click through to find out how to do that with Culturally Responsive Teaching in Any Setting.
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