The state assessment gets closer and our grip over our instruction and our students grows tighter and tighter. Rather than suffocating our students, we have to find new and creative ways to engage our students in review-style activities that will help us continually assess their progress.
Use these strategies to let it go and hand the learning to your kids to see what they can do.
Cut this grid into small squares. Assign portions of any genre of text, and ask students to draw a square at random. They must then write a question using that stem and pose it to their group. Then you can build in time for small group discussion and listen to assess your students' progress.
The Hot Seat:
Stop the multiple choice, drill and kill madness. You're likely looking at lots of practice passages with multiple choice. Put your paper cutter to work and cut the multiple choice questions into pieces. If you have time, you can put the questions with answer choices on index cards, but cutting it quick and ugly style will work too. It's crunch time, folks!! Put your "cards" face down in the center of a small group. After students have read a text, each member of a small group will roll a numbered cube (I hate the word die...it just sounds so weird). The student with the highest number draws first and must answer. Other group members must then give a thumbs up or thumbs down if they agree or disagree. Talk it out until the table reaches a consensus. Roll again.
This can be so versatile! Fill Easter eggs with tasks directed at either pre, during, or post reading skills. Deliver a basket to each table group and have them work until all eggs have been opened and completed. (As a sweet surprise, you can always drop a sweet treat into a few of the eggs).
|Q&A Scavenger Hunt|
Q and A Scavenger Hunt:
This sounds confusing, but it really is fun! Post 8 clues around the room and send students on a scavenger hunt. Kids can't move forward until they find the next answer. It takes a bit of work on the front end, but it is worth it. Here's a silly example using fruit. You would obviously switch these out for higher-level and content-based questions.
Connect the Dots:
|Connect the Dots|