Thursday, March 6, 2014

Race to the Board - Versatile Classroom Review Game

This is an oldie but goodie!  

I love this one because it's versatile! Any grade or subject can fit into here somehow.

***It's a great game for rainy days and high heat days because kids can get up and move without losing instructional time.***

Many teachers have been doing this game in one form or another for years, but I recently saw a video where a teacher was doing this to review at the end of a unit and I was thinking, "That would be a great beginning of a unit too!"

How to Play (the traditional way): 

-Divide the class into two or more teams.
-Give each team a different colored white board marker and delineate a space on the white board for them.
-Tell the teams their task, the team members with the markers race to the board to write what ever you've told them to.
-The first one to write the correct answer on the board wins their team a point.
-The marker gets passed to the next person on the team for the next task.
-Examples:  call out a math problem and they write an answer, give a definition (from any subject) and they write the matching word, have them spell a word, in kinder you could have them write the letter whose sound they hear at the beginning/middle/end of a word, etc...

The Review Game:

The video I saw had a classroom divided into two groups (you could do more).  They were reviewing some topic (I THINK maybe a social studies topic but it doesn't really matter because you could do it with any subject).  The task was to race to the board, write as many words as you could think of that went with the topic, then when you were slowing or couldn't think of anymore pass the marker to another team member to add to your team's list.  The teacher counted the words at the end of a given amount of time.  The team with the most accepted words that weren't repeated won.

*If I were doing this review game I'd also give a bonus point for each word a team had that other teams did not have. ;)

Beginning a Unit with Race to the Board:

I was thinking this could totally be a way to start off a unit as well.  You have kids access their prior knowledge and informally assess what they know at the same time!  It works the same way as the review game above, only you give the topic at the beginning of the unit. 

-Divide the class into how ever many teams you like.
-Give them their own color marker and space on the white board.
-Tell them the topic, and let the race begin.  (I find 2 minutes to be good with 3-6 grade) .
-Teams can't yell words to members writing, the marker has to be passed off. 
-As you are counting the words to decide on the winning team, you can be discussing meanings, misinformation, etc... and clarifying what they know and how many students know it.  It might even open up some discussion as some other teams might want to "challenge" weather a certain word from another team is acceptable. 

How have you used this type of game in the classroom?

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