It's my least favorite time of the year. I've taught all my skills and now I need to start reviewing for the BIG test. Ugh! It's a really important time, but it's also too easy to stress out the kiddies. I work hard during this time so that my students can feel a sense of accomplishment and can feel good about themselves when they do well on the test.
I alleviate some of the test pressure by reviewing with games. I love using PowerPoint games to review concepts all year long. These games are powerful. There are so many valuable teachable moments when we play these games. Many of the games I use are in test format so I can discuss test taking strategies while reviewing concepts. My kids love playing in teams and put forth more effort than if I were to give them a worksheet with the same skills.
I've been working on a set of Boot Camp review games that are played similar to Jeopardy. Because I teach in Texas, these review games are centered around the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). I want each Boot Camp game to have a narrow focus so that I can focus on a specific set of skills at a time.
If you're interested in giving PowerPoint games a try but aren't sure if they are right for you, click here to download a fully functioning preview file. You'll need PowerPoint or PowerPoint viewer to use the file. Because this is a preview, only the 100 point value questions are available in the demo. The full game can be found in my TpT store.
Another of my favorite review games is to play "trashketball" with task cards. This is a great game that requires very little preparation - just use the task cards you already have on hand. My favorite test prep task cards are these by Schoolhouse Diva. Her STAAR prep materials are fantastic!
If you've never played trashketball, you HAVE to give it a try! Your students will LOVE you for it! You can divide your class into teams, but you don't have to. To play, display a task card on your overhead or data projector and have your students work out the problem on their dry erase boards. Call on a student to give the answer. If the student is correct, he or she gets the opportunity to shoot a ball into your classroom trash can for extra points. This game keeps them totally engaged!
I would love to hear how you keep your students motivated during test prep.