Fun Review Strategies:-

Whenever you find yourself with some extra time to fill or reviewing information with students for an upcoming test, you might want to try some of these fun review strategies. Some can be used whenever you have a few minutes to spare before the bell rings, while waiting in line, or you need a time-filler between activities. Others are perfect for long review sessions to prepare students for an upcoming assessment. Whatever your need, I think you’ll find these activities to be motivating and fun for everyone.

In Class Review Sessions

Learning Chain
Cut different coloured construction paper (light colours only) into long strips. Give each student several strips and have them write a review fact, word & definition, or rule on each strip. Next, have students create a loop with the strip of paper, adding the loops together to make a chain. You can do this as a whole class, in small groups, or as individuals. Then have each individual or small group share the information they chained together.

A variation on this is to create a chain yourself with one question per link. During review time have the students come up one at a time and pull a link from the chain. The student then reads the question aloud. All the students write (or call out) the answer to the question.

Jeopardy
This is a fun game to play with students for review questions. Sort your information into four or five categories. On one side of a piece of construction paper write a fact students need to know (or it could be a question). On the other side write a point value (i.e. – 100 pts., 250 pts., 500 pts.). Break students into teams. One at a time, students on each team choose a category & point value. Flip the card over and read the fact or question. Students then either identify a question to go with the fact or answer the question. If they are correct, record the points for their team.

Review Time Fillers

Who/What Am I?
This review game is like 20 questions.  Choose a person, place, or thing from your unit of study. Students then ask questions to help them determine the person, place, or thing you’ve chosen. Remind them that they only get 20 questions to figure it out.

Charades/Pictionary

Have strips of paper with a person, place, or thing you are studying written on each. Place these in a jar, hat, or box. Students take turns pulling one out and acting/drawing it for the class to guess.

Hangman
This is a great game for reviewing spelling and vocabulary words. Again, have the words written each on a strip of paper for students to draw from a box. The student should draw the correct number of spaces for the word chosen. You can also choose for them to have a “clue” by providing the definition of the word.

Matching Partners
Think of connected ideas, people, or events that could be matched for your unit of study. Write each of these on white or construction paper. Attach a page to the back of each student so they cannot see who or what they are. Make sure you have enough to match up correctly. Students must then walk around the class and ask questions to: 1) determine who/what is on their sign and 2) locate their partner.

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Beginning Teacher Myths:-

As I prepare myself for practicum later this year, I thought it appropriate to write a post about beginning teacher myths:

If I care about the kids, everything else will fall into place

It’s a “naïve” approach to teaching and it misses the big picture – Good teachers aim to inspire students and get them interested in lifelong learning.

I’ll get ahead – blasting right out of the gate with challenging instruction from day one

WRONG!!! All students learn at different paces and have differing abilities and interests.

I already know how to teach reading effectively

Chances are you don’t!! A lot of cutting-edge research is only now getting into the classroom when it comes to reading instruction and back to phonics approaches are becoming more prevalent.

Dress doesn’t matter if I’m a good teacher

Dress like a professional and the students are much more likely to treat you–and your instruction–with respect. On the other hand ‘dress as if you’re going to a rock concert’, and, whether you know it or not, you’re building a climate of low expectations in your classroom.

Punctuality doesn’t matter if I’m a good teacher

Constantly late to class or not turning up on time to meetings or playground duty will not only make you unpopular with your colleagues but it is one of the most common ‘areas of concern’ expressed by principals when assessing beginning teachers.

I must stink – I’m always asking for help

That’s what new teachers are supposed to do, most of us remember how being an incessant pest to learn something new has helped in the past.

 

Students are not just vessels to fill with facts!

After talking to one of my friends that their child is experiencing a strict educational regime with no ounce of fun, it has compelled me to look at how students should be treated as individuals who do not need to get 100% on everything to succeed in life.

Teaching is not just a matter of passing along information and knowledge from one generation to the next; it is also all about the relationships used to create an effective learning environment. Sometimes these relationships can be hard to maintain when faced with juggling: marking, playground duty and overall classroom behaviour. However, above all we must remember that we must treat students how we would wish to be treated.

So what can you do to better understand and interact with the group of human beings you currently impart knowledge  with?

Distance yourself from the actions and start asking, “Why?” Why is this student so angry when he or she comes into my class every day?….  Perhaps there is an underlying problem. At times, the words said by the students in these outburst may hurt, however we need to put this aside and ask questions of ourselves that may help us in the quest to work towards a solution.

By gathering this information and using it, you can then determine what kind of interactions you want to have with other people whether they are students or adults. Equipped with this knowledge, interactions will continue to be instinctive rather than deliberate.

Help your interactions be positive ones by gaining understanding of how people “work.” The more you observe, reflect, and look for understanding, the more it will come to you. The better you understand how people “work,” the better you will be able to interact with your students, with parents, and with colleagues. Just remember, seek first to understand and then react!

Being friendly:

Friendly means greeting students with a smile and handshake. It also means offering a pat on the back or a hug as needed. This does not mean that we should never use a firm tone of voice or reprimand our students. Instead, it is important to remember to have a pleasant outlook rather than a sour outlook throughout the day. There are times when you will need to show disapproval or disappointment in regards to student misbehaviour. Yes, students may get mad at you for a little while, but it will go away. When they see that you can be friendly again once they change their behaviours, you will find that they appreciate that friendliness more.

Having a sense of humour:

It is important to remember that your students are young and they are acting the way most young ones do. Rather than getting frustrated with some of their antics, take some time to enjoy them. When we can have a sense of humour about what our students do, our lives become less stressful. Sometimes children are just being children. Don’t take everything quite so seriously and you’ll find yourself having fun each day.

When enjoying a funny moment with students, be sure to make a clear transition back into the lesson or activity. It is very easy for students to take that fun moment and turn it into twenty minutes of chaos.

Having a good rapport with students:

Get to know your students. Try to take a little bit of time each day to talk one-on-one with each of your students. Greet them at the door. Check their homework calendar at the start or end of class and use that time to say hello and find out how they are doing. Ask about their family, friends, pets, hobbies. If they are involved in sports, ask about the latest game. The more we get to know our students as people and treat them as such, the more our students will respect us as a person. It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day “teaching” and forget that we have a group of individuals with us. They each have their own history, their own stories, and their own likes/dislikes, which are as important to them as ours are to us.