Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Partner High-Level Questioning Review

By the end of the year in Obertopia, most of the students know their stuff!  This is a beautiful thing, but it makes reviews very difficult.  Advanced kids tend to be less engaged (BORED!) if they have to take part in a review when they "know everything".  As a result I came up with....


Step 1) I took a copy of an old study guide (I don't really give study guides anymore... We do study packets) that had a series of open-ended review questions.

Step 2) I spaced out the questions so there were about 4 questions per page.

Step 3) I printed the questions.

Step 4) I made 4 copies (I have 4 classes).

Step 5) I cut the questions so there was space (front & back) for many answers.

Step 6) I allowed students to choose their own partners (this NEVER happens, but this was for the final, so I let them choose.

Step 7) I told the kids my rules:
1. You'll have 1 minute to answer each question.
2. You have to read all the other responses that have been written before you write your answer.
3. You may not repeat anything that has already been said.
4. You must initial your answer once you're done.
5. Once the timer goes off, you'll pass your question to the next group (we covered who they would be passing to before we started).

Step 8) I pass out the questions so each partnership gets one.

Step 9) I start the timer & say GO!

I had more questions than I had partnerships, so I put some on my front table.  The first/last groups were told they'd be passing/taking from the front table.

The front table with the extra questions, soon to be in circulation!

At first, the groups kept saying This is so easy and We have a full minute?!?  But soon..... Oh so soon... The whining began!  This is hard!  All the answers are taken!  Oh my gosh, I didn't have time to finish!!! I kept repeating the phrase You gotta think outside the box as they trudged on & had to think of less obvious, higher-level answers.

Here they are, thinking really hard!!!!
Here's a few more of them, getting frustrated as I take pictures while they struggle.

It really worked out great.  They were exposed to about 30 different higher-level questions in a very short amount of time.  They were all engaged because they were in small-groups (partners). By the end of class, they were reading about 14-15 other groups' answers before they could answer for themselves.  And I got to walk around peacefully as a true facilitator.  Magic!!!

Here are a few pictures of the finished questions:

Hope this is helpful to all you review-haunted teachers out there.  Tell me in the comments below how you might use this in your own classroom!