My 10th graders are extremely competitive this year and they love to play games. Any prize will do. Sometimes, when they ask me what they get if they win, I tell them they get bragging rights until the next time we play. Usually, that is a satisfactory answer.
A couple of weeks ago we were coming down to the end of a chapter. I wanted to try something different to review for our test on the Industrial Revolution. We had been playing Kahoot to review for the last couple of tests and I sensed that it was getting old. (My students LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Kahoot by the way. If you don’t know what it is, check it out here. I will have a post about the wonders of this website coming very soon!) Anyway, I wanted to try something different.
The night before review day I racked my brain trying to come up with something, anything, that would work. I browsed online. I asked my husband. I looked through my World History textbook for ideas. Nothing seemed to be easy to prepare and fun for my kiddos to play. The next morning I came up with an idea in the shower while getting ready for work. (The shower is usually where all of my great ideas come to me. Does this happen to anyone else? Or, is it just me?)
Team Review Competition– that is what we were going to do to review for our test. The basic premise of this review is that students work in teams of four to answer a series of thirty short-answer questions. The first team to turn in their answer sheet with all correct answers wins extra credit points. (Yes, I said it. Extra. Credit. Points. They are a rare commodity in my classroom so you can imagine my students’ excitement.) To keep things fair I came up with the following rules for the game:
- Only one person can write per team. This person must write all of the answers.
- Your team only gets to submit your answer sheet once. If there are any incorrect answers you are disqualified and you cannot win.
- If anyone on your team has a phone out, your whole team is disqualified and no one on your team will be eligible for extra credit.
- The first team to turn in their answer sheet with all correct answers wins extra credit points. (Possible scenario: Team A is the first to turn in their answer sheet, but they have one incorrect answer. Team B turns in their answer sheet second and has all correct answers. Team B wins because they were the first to submit an answer sheet with all correct answers. The incorrect answer that Team A had would disqualify them.)
I typed up a series of thirty questions and made copies prior to my first period coming in. Each team received one copy of the questions. This ensured that that they had to work together to answer them. Also, since the rules state that only one person can write, there was no need for multiple copies of the questions per team.
When my first period class came in, I didn’t know what to expect. I decided I was just going to wing it, explain the game, and let them have at it. (Fingers crossed, of course, that this game would be a hit.) Sure enough, it was a hit. My students loved playing. The Team Review Competition catered to my students’ competitive side and gave them an excellent review of the material for their test.
The really great thing about this review game is that it is completely student centered. My students had to rely on one another to answer the questions. If they asked me a content question while the competition was going on, I told them to confer with their team. What I loved most about this game was that I was able to stand back and watch all of my students working, learning, and reviewing together.