End-of-year test reviewing can be overwhelming. How can you help the students remember everything you’ve learned in class all year without drilling and killing? Heidi gave me this tip my first year teaching: Make it a fun activity!
All you need for this activity is:
- Empty plastic easter eggs
- Small candy or treats (see alternative ideas at the end of the post)
- Review questions
We formatted review questions strips of paper that we folded up. We put one question and a piece of candy (Starburst, jelly bean, etc.) into a plastic Easter Egg. We like the ones that have the tops attached so you don’t have to spend time looking for the matches.
I’ve used these eggs for review in a couple of different ways.
- Pass out an egg to each student. They read the question to themselves and choose the correct answer. Call students back to check their answer. If they picked the correct answer, they can eat their candy. Obviously, if they choose the wrong answer, give them some tips to try again. I always help them until they find the correct answer and get to eat their candy.
After being sure that each of them knows the correct answer, I have them quiz each other. I usually have one-half of the room stay at their seats while the other half of the room quizzes them. I challenge them to quiz as many people as they can in 3 minutes, for example. Any student who doesn’t have somebody asking them a question has their hand in the air to indicate that they are available to be quizzed. It sounds a little chaotic but it’s not bad. My students have always loved doing this. Then we switch and have the other half do the quizzing while the first half sits down.
2- Another way I use the review eggs is by having the students all sit at the carpet. I call them up one at a time to read their question out loud and call on another student to give the answer. After reading a question they get to eat their candy. If you go this route, make sure nobody gets put on the spot in front of the other students with a question they may not be able to handle in front of the other students. Pairing up students to discuss the question together before they raise their hands may help with this too.
I prefer the first method if there is time because every student ends up hearing and attempting to answer almost every question. And the student asks their question many times and gets very familiar with the wording and answer. The problem with the second method is that not every student listens to every question. If Billy answers the first question and gets to eat his candy, he’s not necessarily going to listen to any of the questions after that.
I filled the eggs up with new questions and more candy every afternoon after school so they were ready to go. I tried to use the eggs for an activity every day for a few weeks if possible.
Normally I don’t like to use a lot of candy in my classroom. The reason I feel okay about using it for this is that I don’t want the students to have negative feelings about anything to do with the end-of-year test. So if giving them a little treat when we work on reviewing for the test will make them excited about it, I feel great about that! I always let them suck on a Jolly Rancher during testing too, as something special to look forward to each day.
But if candy is a no-go in your classroom, mini erasers or stickers or other small items will work just as well!
This is such an easy way to prep for end of year testing in your classroom. And most importantly, activities like this help students retrieve that valuable information they’ve learned all year so that it’s easier to recall in the future!