Getting ready for assessments can be tedious and stressful in the common core classroom, plus students always dread the word “test.” How can you make test preparation more fun and meaningful for students? That can be answered in one simple word, “games!”
We have found that active engagement of our students in test review helps them to build confidence, and also provides our students with a fun way to review for a test. One popular game that we use with our students is game boards.
Game boards are an excellent way to involve all the students in the review process. We break our students into groups of two or three. We then provide the groups with: a game board, game cards, a die, and something to use as their player markers. We often use markers from other games that we have in the room (Monopoly, Trouble, etc…) Students then proceed to roll the die and move along the board stopping to answer questions that relate to the assessment.
As players move along the board and answer questions, they will be engaged in learning and will want to finish the game. We make sure to let each player finish the game regardless if they are second or third. If there are cards left over at the end of the game, you can have a bonus round where the cards are split between the players, and whoever can answer the most correct is the overall winner. That way if a student didn't finish first, s/he can still have a chance to win! But the overall purpose of the game is to review, so winning shouldn't be stressed too much with your students.
Here is a link to a blank game board and blank game cards saved in both Microsoft Word 2010 and as a PDF. This will allow you to either type or hand write what you want to put onto your game boards and game cards. Click on the picture below or here to access the blank game board and game cards that you will be able to edit.
Also, below is a link to a game board we use as a review for a novel unit so you can see what a completed one looks like so you have an idea of what to add onto your own game boards.
These game boards can be used for math, reading, writing, grammar, social studies, science, or any other curricular area. Your students will love this great way to review! Click on the pictures below or here to access the FREE example.
Please continue to follow our blog as we will be sharing more ways to be creative in the common core classroom!