Sunday, January 1, 2012

Review Games - Fireline

Some of you will be returning to school soon in time for end-of-semester exams or even early state testing.  And even if you're not, are you always on the look-out for review games?  I know I usually am.  Jeopardy is an easy standby but has lost its novelty since powerpoints are so 90s.

One game that I got from a teacher next door to me is called "Fireline!" and the kids loved it.  You need 5 chairs placed at the front of the room; this is your "fireline."  You need one student as your extra set of eyes (maybe two, depending on your class size) because speed matters in this game.  The students' goal is to be one of the five people seated in a chair at the end of the game; I usually gave a couple points extra credit on the test as the incentive.  Because the student acting as extra eyes can't participate, I also gave him/her a little incentive (a piece of candy and a little less extra credit).  You read out the review questions and after you are done reading the question, the student who has his hand up first gets to answer the question.  If s/he gets it right, s/he may take a seat on the Fireline.  If s/he gets it wrong and has made a real effort to answer, s/he gets to choose someone on the Fireline to answer the question for him/her.  If the person on the Fireline gets it wrong, that person gets to take that seat.  If the Fireline answerer gets it correct, s/he has defended the chair.

Your extra set of eyes comes in handy in determining who raised a hand first after you finish reading the question and judging whether his/her peer made an honest effort to answer it.  Because there is a chance of getting the chair even if the answer is wrong, it is important to make that stipulation about a true effort, just so kids don't throw up their hands and throw out any ol' response.  I also sometimes used my helper to judge an answer as correct or not, if the respondent was close but not perfect.  However, you can really only do this if you have the answer you are looking for previously written down.  I found that this position worked well for two types of kids:   the super-shy kid who wouldn't really participate anyway because s/he doesn't like competition or the extremely gregarious/goofball kid who is not afraid to challenge his/her peers for not making an honest effort to answer.

The nice thing about this game is that it takes little to no preparation.  Heck, if you've already made the test, you've already made your review script!

I'm going to try and post a few other review games I've used -- feel free to share others you & your class have enjoyed!

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