Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Circuit Review

Thanksgiving fell at a really weird time this year.  Normally it means it's almost December, but this year we had a full week of November left after Thanksgiving.

Based on the foreign language curriculum, I do a chapter per month with each level.  It times out really nicely and it gives the kids an idea of when there tests end up being.  This chapter test will be on Friday, so it's time to review, review, review!

I like to mix up review activities.  Yeah, Jeopardy is fun, but you can only play it so much.  Another teacher told me about this circuit activity that is great review for the kids and usually takes up an entire class period.

The first thing you do is figure out how many kids are in that class.  Then you take that many note cards, fold them in half, and put a "problem" on the outside each note card that can be solved in 30 seconds or less.  For example, my French 3s are learning about cooking, so one card might say il/ajouter.  Based on the "cp" in a circle I will put at the bottom, they will know they have to conjugate that verb in the present tense.  Then, on the inside is the answer so they can get immediate feedback and know if it's something they need to work on.  Each "round" lasts a total of 50 seconds.  The first 30 seconds students are solving the problem.  The last 20 seconds, they are checking their answer.  Then you have them each pass their card to the next person.  Eventually each person will have had each card once.

In order to hold accountability, I require them to fill out a worksheet.  I put three columns on it: card number, my answer, check answer.  I require them to write down the "check answer" even if their answer was correct.  I am thinking of adding another column saying "Didn't get it" so they can check it off and can go back to it or just know they need to study it.

One thing to keep in mind is you need to create a "circuit".  Basically there needs to be an imaginary line from the first person to the last person so that the passing can continue.  Here is an example of my circuit seating chart:

You can see that it's literally never ending so that there isn't a point where the cards stop.

The only annoying thing about this activity is you have to constantly watch the clock.   It gets repetitive saying "pass" and "check" every 20-30 seconds.  I'm hoping to find some sort of automatic online timer that would work.

In order to cut down on "instructions", I made a few categories (as discussed with the "CP" at the bottom).  I just write the category on the card and then I write all the categories on the board if they don't remember what they have to do with the card. 

I did this with my French 1s last month and they loved it.  It really gave them a feel for what they needed to review/study.  They really appreciated having immediate answers as well because they could instill the right answer in the moment.

You can also make a game out of it, seeing who has the most right answers.  The beauty of this activity is you can literally use it with any topic or subject.  Math, history, science, you name it.

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