Testing season is almost here (or already here for some of you!). I always embed review throughout the year in a spiraling manner, but I also take 2-4 weeks (depending on pacing) to review before our high stakes assessments. I like to do a mixture of text prep activities ranging from paper and pencil review to games. I try to include a lot of engaging test prep in my review routine to keep my students motivated and engaged.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my favorite engaging test prep activities with you. All of these activities are practical and fairly inexpensive the way that I incorporate them. Hopefully this will make it super easy for you to incorporate into your test prep review. First up, is all about playing Jenga while reviewing.
The ideal way to play this game would be whole group with groups of 4 with each group having their own Jenga game. However, that can get expensive with the purchase of all the Jenga games. A practical and more affordable option is to have centers set up with various activities and have Jenga as one of the centers. Here are the directions for playing Jenga in a center (free printable version will be available at the end of this post).
Jenga Review Directions
1. Take turns selecting a question to answer.
2. Each person in the group must answer the question and record the answer.
3. The person whose turn it is must prove their answer is correct to the other members of the group.
4. If the answer is proven correct, the person whose turn it is may move a Jenga piece.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 with another member of the team.
Tips for Management and Implementation
I do like to remind the students to try and be as quiet as possible when the tower falls because they will get very excited. It also helps to have the Jenga game on the floor so that when it falls, the noise will not be as loud. I instruct my students to rebuild as soon as possible when it does fall and continue answering questions.
As far as accountability, make sure you give the students a set amount of questions they need to get answered to ensure they are working hard on the questions and not just playing the game. As you can see in the directions, I require that all students answer the questions to ensure that not just one student is doing the work at a time. This is key to ensure the review is just as worthwhile as it is engaging. At no point during a review should the other students be watching another one do the work. The students whose turn it is could read the question aloud for the other students or the question could be placed in a central location so all students can see it.
I have used Jenga to review all subjects. When using it for literacy, I like to review skills that are short answer or even multiple choice. In the picture above, I have my reading review task cards that review all 5th grade reading standards. These are perfect for a comprehensive review of all the standards. Some other literacy skills that work really well are figurative language, context clues, any language skill, and vocabulary review. This review also works really with math skills also. You can see my math task cards for 5th grade (shown in this post) by clicking here.
Click here or on the image below to download the free printable of the directions to play this game with your students.
What do you think about playing Jenga in the classroom? Do you think this is something your students would enjoy? Stay tuned for more engaging test prep ideas in upcoming blog posts!
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