End of year test reviewing can be overwhelming. How can you help the students remember everything you've learned in class all year? Heidi gave me this tip my first year teaching: Make it a fun activity!
Heidi took the questions from the state test review to create this activity. In Utah the test review question website is called Utips. If your state doesn't have test review questions you could write your own based on your state curriculum, in the style of the end of year test.
She formatted the questions into 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 few different ways.
1- Pass out eggs to students. 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 know 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.
2- Another way I use them is having the students all sit at the carpet. I call them up one at a time to read their question outloud and call on another student to give the answer. After answering a question they get to eat their candy.
I prefer the first method if we have time because every student ends up hearing and attempting to answer most 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.
These are just a couple of ideas for doing test review in your class. We'd love to hear what you do in your classroom to prepare your students for the "big bad test!"