Tuesday, November 29, 2016

6 Reasons and 1 Way to Use Higher-Order Review Games

Six Awesome Reasons to Use Higher-Order Review Games

6. Your midterm (and EOCs) are made up of mostly higher order thinking. Remember, these vassessments are 20-60-20 (20% are Level 1 Questions; 60% are Level Two Questions; 20% are Level Three Questions). So, if kids review with higher-levels of thinking, they will better learn and test at higher order levels of thinking. If they review at recall-levels, they will learn recall-levels.  

5. The person doing the talking is doing the thinking. If YOU (the teacher) are talking about content, YOU are thinking about content. No word on what the students are thinking about while you are talking. Maybe they’re doing the mannequin challenge and just didn’t tell you.  If you want the KIDS to think about content, then the KIDS have to talk about the content.
4.  Engagement makes it stick We remember the stuff that is interesting. We remember the stuff that is fun or engages our brain. We don’t remember the stuff that bores us. So don’t give your kids a review packet or review sheet. They don’t get as much out of that. Engage their brains to make your content stick.

3. Categories help students organize information in their brains. The more students put information into categories, the better they understand it. This goes with schema theory. If an idea or a concept or a term fits into a category, it has a place in the student's world and in the student’s brain. Help them determine how the pieces of their learning fit or don’t fit together.

2. Connections matter. Students need help connecting one concept or chunk of information to another. The more connections made between and among terms and ideas, the stronger the “rooting” of the learning -- which means that the kid learned the concept better AND understands the subtleties of how that idea connects to another idea.

1.The real world is not about lower-level thinking. Think about your life. Whether it is your route to work in the morning or whether you can afford a certain item or who you vote for or how you relate to others -- most of life involves higher-order thinking. The answer to the real world questions is rarely at recall-level (unless you play a lot of trivia). SO, if you move past the testing-focus, it helps to think that these higher-order thinking skills are as useful (shhhh... probably more useful) in the real world.

SOOOooooooo..... ..  How about one strategy to start with?

Higher Order Review: Headbands
  1. Put one vocab term on each sticky note, note card, or paper slip. You will possibly need a different set of sticky notes/cards each period. Choose your terms thoughtfully. You might want to start them with terms from the same unit and maybe try to add more variety in the future.
  2. Sort the terms in a way that will enable you to differentiate for your students.
  3. Give every kid a sticky note or card with a term on it – but DON’T let them look at the term.
  1. Have each kid put his or her Vocab Sticky Note or note card on his or her forehead, with the vocab term facing out. (they may have to hold it up with their hands)
  2. Instruct the kids to keep their sticky notes on their foreheads and walk around the classroom, talking to several other students.
  3. Students will try to guess the terms on their own heads by asking each other ONLY questions that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no”.
  4. When students guess their own term correctly, they make take their word off their heads (but hang on to them). They may continue to answer the questions from other students.
  5. You may need to organize the students to help the last few if they get stuck and struggle to guess their terms.
  6. When most kids have guessed their term, they may help the students who have not yet guessed their words.
Benefits of Headbands:
  • Students are active, out of seats.
  • Student collaboration & discussion
  • Students have to make connections between terms
  • Students will discuss relationship between terms
  • Students will examine the multiple facets to the terms
Watch out for:
  • Cheating. It’s easy to cheat, but then the kids don’t learn anything. I give this as a pep talk before we play.
  • Giving up. Kids who get a particularly tough term may want to give up. Build in support by either differentiating (giving tougher terms to kids who are up for the challenge and more common terms to kids who struggle).
  • Kids getting off task. Circulate and “play” along to keep them on task
  • The game taking too long. It’s easy to let those last few kids keep guessing well after the other kids have lost interest. Have the class give them clues if they are the last few so they don’t feel “picked on” or so the game doesn’t drag on too long.
Try it this week or next week ... and let me know how it goes! As always, I love to hear! Happy Headbands-gaming!


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