As promised I am back with another test prep strategy that we have been doing. This one may be my favorite. It is a spin off a traditional gallery walk and gets the kids moving, reviewing, and critiquing each other’s work.

I prepared the activity by writing 6 practice problems (Math) on 6 different chart papers. I chose these skills because they were the most missed skills on our last common assessment. After writing them on chart paper, I taped them around the room. I left enough space between each chart so the groups of students would not be crowded together.

My students formed 6 groups, which have been their loyal test prep buddies for the past week. They prepared their paper to work out the problems by folding the paper twice to create 4 rectangles on the front and 4 on the back. 6 of the rectangles was used to work out the problems and the last two were used for reflection: Which problem was the easiest, and why? Which problem was the most difficult, and why?

The students then walked around to each problem (at my cue) and solved each problem on their paper and not on the chart (that part came later). They had to justify their answer with written explanations, pictures, or equations.

Here are some examples of the students working out the problems on their paper.

Here they are discussing and reading one of the problems.

After each group had solved all 6 problems, I strategically assigned each group to a problem for them to show their work on the chart. I chose it so each group was given a problem that they had solved correctly. Each group was sent back to their assigned problem and they were given about 5 minutes to show all their work on the chart.

Then, we did one last “gallery walk” when the other groups moved to the completed problems and compared it to their own and critiqued the other groups’ work. They were instructed to clear up misconceptions and add any element that the other group left off (equation/model). They were also to add further justification or justification using more precise language.

This has to be my favorite test prep activity yet! Here is why I loved it:

- The students were working together to solve each problem.
- The students were pushed to provide further explanation when they had to show their work on the chart that they knew would be critiqued by their peers.
- Each student got a chance to see each problem worked out by another group of students and read and critique their thinking.

We did it with math this week, but we are going to try it with language next week.

Doing fun activities are making test prep so much more engaging and interesting (for me AND the kids)!

Sandy says

Looks awesome… thanks for another fantastic idea!

Jennifer Findley says

You are welcome! We loved this activity!

Ms.M from Teachingisagift says

What a great idea to get the kids up and moving! I have so many students who would prefer to do this than the way I have had them practicing this week! I am having one of those "why didn't I think of this?" moments! Thanks for the inspiration. Please come and link this post up too Jennifer, it needs to be part of the TEST PREP LINKY http://teachingisagift.blogspot.ca/2013/04/test-prep-linky-party.html.

Have a great weekend!

Sidney

TeachingisagiftJennifer Findley says

Thanks! We love getting up and moving! I will link up tonight. Thanks!

Brandee Green says

What a great idea! I don't teach math but I can definitely use some of the same principles with my ELA classes. Fifth graders need to move!! 🙂 ~following you via Google Friend Connect 🙂

Brandee

Creating Lifelong Learners

Jennifer Findley says

Yes, 5th graders definitely need to move! They need to release their energy just as much as younger kids!

Beth says

What a great way to make test prep more interesting! I'm going to try this next week with my 5th graders. I'll let you know how it goes.

Beth

easy peasy education

Jennifer Findley says

I would love to know how it went!

Jennifer

Elizabeth says

Love this! I would love to see how you've adapted it for language as well. Thanks, dabehbehs@charter.net

Abdur Rahim says

While vocabulary can be one of the easiest sections for which you can ensure success in standardized tests, it’s also usually one of the most intimidating for my test prep students in Dhaka City.

Sean Russell says

This is a great assignment! I'm going to have to steal it!

resawltr says

Did you work on this all week? can you tell me the break down in time? how much time per each part of the activity?

TheElementary MathManiac says

An excellent way to do test prep! Thanks for sharing!

Tara

The Math Maniac

Doreen says

Awesome idea, why didn’t I think of it!

Kim says

Such a great test prep activity that keeps students engaged! Thanks so much for sharing!

Jordan Kidd says

I love this so much! I found this on Pinterest and used it in my own third grade classroom today. The kids LOVED it, and it helped make their learning so much more meaningful! THANK YOU!!