Use your old benchmark tests as review questions for your review games.
Start a review system early on in the year, so your kids will not have to go as long between learning new content and the standardized test.
“Test prep does not always have to take place at a desk with a number 2 pencil in hand. Instead, try having students answer questions in one of the following ways:
Label each wall in your classroom either A, B, C, or D. When reviewing answers, have students move to the wall labeled with the multiple-choice answer they chose.
Give students different colored pieces of paper or Popsicle sticks. Each color can correlate to a multiple-choice answer (red is A, blue is B, etc.). Have students hold up the color based on which answer they chose.
Turn your classroom into a museum by creating a gallery walk. Hang test prep questions around the classroom, students can move silently, in partners, or to music to the different “exhibits” around the room. They can then answer the questions on a worksheet or in a notebook that they carry around the room with them.” (Bottom four bullet points from Ashley, Teach For America)
For some reason, the word “antonyms” or way harder for kids to remember than “opposites.” So to teach them, I’ve made a practice game for 2 students to play. It’s like Connect Four, but kids have to supply an antonym to claim the square. Click here for the free printable worksheets: antonyms battle antonyms battle 2
Since the Common Core requires students to know various ways to write the same number, I made another practice page. This one is for 2 students to play and deals with writing expanded forms of a number written in standard form. For example, if the page says “245,” the student should write “200 + 40 + 5.” Click here for the free printable PDFs:
One of the standards on the new Common Core is that students will be able to write numbers in various forms. One of these forms is to write out a number in word form. For example, the number 164 is “one hundred sixty four.” Here’s a game/activity for two students to do. They must try to get 4 squares in a row by writing the word form of the number printed in the square. Enjoy!
“Sit Down!” is another all purpose game. Kids stand in a big circle. One student is “it” in the middle with a pointer (or just his finger). “It” gets to decide what number we start counting on to count by 10s. He might pick 7. So “It” starts pointing at one child at a time as the whole class counts by tens starting at 7. So we count 7, 17 27, 37, 47, 57, 67, 77, 87, 97 and if you are the student pointed to when it is over 100, you “SIT DOWN”. The whole class says “SIT DOWN” and then the game continues, starting with 7, 17 and so on until you again reach 100 and SIT DOWN. When a student sits down, they just sit in their place in the circle and they continue to help the class count. You do this until the whole class is sitting with just one per son standing. Then the last one down is “It” and you start again. “It” picks a new number to start with and you keep going. This game could be down with numerous concepts (like saying the alphabet, state names, etc.), or skip counting by any number (not just 10). Kids especially like it if teacher plays and has to sit down too.
This is one of my favorite games. This works for reading, math or anything you can write on a card with an answer (great for spelling words, sight words, letter sounds, math facts, states/capitals, etc).
The pictures are of our spelling words for the week. Kids get in groups of three or four. One student does not have a fly swatter, while the others each have one. The student without a fly swatter is the reader. Spread the words (or math fact cards, or whatever) on the ground. The reader reads any word. The other kids try to be the first to swat the word. Whoever swats the word first keeps the word. After the words are gone, the fly swatters get passed to the left. If you don’t have the fly swatter, you become the reader. Be sure to set up rules before the game that if someone intentionally swats another student with the fly swatter they sit out a round, or whatever your class rule would be. For a whole class experience put the words on the board and give each team one fly swatter. Kids love this game!
My friend over at Cultivating Questioners had this to say about the fly swatter game: “I divide my whiteboard into two sections and write words or numbers on the board randomly. I then divide the students into two teams. I have one person from each team step forward with the fly swatter in hand. I then call out a problem or word and the students run to the front of the room and slap the correct answer in their team’s section. They love it!”
I first heard this song in Spanish, and it CRACKED ME UP! It’s an international sensation, and it’s called “The Little Chick Cheep” (in English). It’s similar to the Old McDonald song in that it uses animal sounds, but it uses sounds of a hen, a rooster, a turkey, a pigeon, a cat, a dog, a goat, a sheep, a cow and a bull (teaching onomatopoeia!). It would make a great brain break, since it’s only 2:47 minutes long and kids everywhere LOVE it! Have your class make up actions to it! You could even use the animals as characters in a shared writing, to teach dialogue, etc. So without further ado, I give you the Little Chick Cheep!
I recently saw this picture on Pinterest. I couldn’t follow the link very far, because I wasn’t a member of acvitityconnection.com, but I was inspired. Here’s my idea:
Set up: Make a box like this, with varying sized holes in the front. Smaller holes are worth more points. Then set it up in your classroom, with masking tape line on the ground, denoting where students should stand before they putt.
Game play: Group students for the review. Ask a review question, and have each team write down their answer. At the same time, have all groups reveal their answer. Any team who gets the answer right, gets to send 1 person to putt once to try to earn points. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins!
I’ve tried numerous games like this with my 6h graders and they loved them! It disguised reviewing for the end of the year tests so the kids had a blast and we got through tons of math and science review questions!