Tests are a universally unpopular part of the educational process. These assessments commonly cause stress and anxiety among students. While nothing can completely remedy a bad case of test fear, middle school teachers can help alleviate some of their students' concern and better prepare them for the test by engaging them in review games. These games allow students to have some fun while preparing to show their smarts on their next test.
This interactive activity allows students to practice answering questions similar to those they will encounter on the test. To prepare this activity, type up content related questions and print each question on a separate sheet of paper. Once you have a stack of papers with questions, begin to create your onion ball. This ball, like an onion, is made up of layers. Start by crumpling your first sheet of paper into a tight ball. Place the second sheet on top of the first, and crumple it around the ball to create a second layer. Continue in this fashion, creating layers until you have used all of the papers.
To play the onion ball game, pull the outer layer of the ball, and read the question to your students. Ask students to raise their hands if they know the answer to the question. Select a student and, if he answers correctly, throw the ball to him. Allow him to remove the second layer, read the question, and select another student to answer. Continue in this fashion until all of the questions have been asked and answered.
Create a spider-web of knowledge through the completion of this questioning activity. To prepare for this activity, create a large ball of yarn. When students arrive give them each an index card, and ask them to write three questions related to the content on the upcoming test. Allow students to use text books or other course material to create their questions if necessary.
To create your web, ask the students to stand in a circle. Give one student the ball or yarn, and ask him to read his questions. Allow students to raise their hands if they know the answer to the question that he posed. The student can then select a peer to answer. If the peer answers correctly, the student can throw the ball to the peer, keeping a hold of the end of the yarn. Play continues in this fashion, with each student keeping a hold of a piece of the yarn to create a web.
Some students learn best when engaged in kinesthetic activities that give them the opportunity to get out of their seats and move around. These students will benefit greatly from the completion of a walking flashcards activity. To create this game for your students, write key terms in large print on index cards. On a separate set of index cards, write the definitions with which those terms could be matched. Tape the term cards to one classroom wall, and the definition cards to an opposite wall.
When students arrive in class, divide them into two teams. Line each team up in the center of the room. Tell the students that, when you say go, one member from each team will run to the term wall and select a term card. The team member must then run to the definition wall and select the card that matches with the term card they picked. Once the team member has selected two cards, he must take them to you. If the match is correct, you allow the next team member to take a term. If the match is incorrect, the team member must go back and try to find the correct definition. The team with the most correct matches at the end of the game wins.
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