1. Spiral Review Content during Math Centers
I find that when I continuously review standards during math centers ALL YEAR LONG, my students are way more likely to retain what I have taught them!! You can do this simply by including a review game as one of your math center rotations each week. I am constantly changing out my review game center to ensure my students are always practicing.
To help me accomplish this goal, I created a series of math games that allow my students to practice testing strategies while reviewing the concepts they are responsible for knowing on test day! Each math game contains 40 “test like” questions (some multiple choice and some short answer; both options available). To make it more fun, they also have QR codes for self-checking!
How I Use These Math Games
Math Centers: Most of my students play these games in groups during math center time. I leave out the CAN, and I place the answer key in a folder. One at a time, my students pull a card from inside the can. If they get the problem right, they keep the card. If they get it wrong, the other player(s) can try to solve it and keep it. There are also “I CAN” cards that act like bonus cards. If a student pulls a bonus card they can add it to their pile of cards without solving a problem. The player with the most cards, WINS!
Progress Monitoring: A few of my struggling students have completed these cards on their own. They pull a card, solve it, record their answer on the student response paper, and check to see if they got it correct (sometimes I check for them). They can then record if they got the answer CORRECT or INCORRECT on the Progress Monitoring sheet. This handy tool breaks down the questions so I can see exactly where they need more help! Here is a picture of the progress monitoring sheet (my favorite!)
Whole Group: I have found these cards are great in a whole group setting. I have split my class into groups, and they compete against each other to solve the problems. I project a card onto the screen, and all students solve the problem. Whichever team’s turn it is, they get to answer the problem first. If they get it wrong, another team can steal the point. The team with the most points, WINS! This is a class favorite.
Task Cards: When I originally made these games, I did not have the intention of making task cards. I wanted something more. However, I have found these cards can be used just the same as task cards in your classroom!
While these games can easily be used to help with test prep, if used ALL YEAR, they can eliminate the need for test prep altogether.
LEARN MORE about my I CAN MATH GAMES; available for grades K-12
2. Spiral Review Math Homework
I wrote another post on Spiral Math Homework, but I believe in it so much that I wanted to make sure I mentioned it again. If you aren’t using spiral math homework in your classroom, you can check it out FREE here.
Spiral Math Homework is a different way of thinking in regards to homework. The idea is, you don’t need to give a ton of practice problems each night to gain mastery of a skill. What tends to happen is teachers give homework that relates to the skill being taught at that time. What happens when you are not teaching that skill anymore? Students forget it! Plain and simple!
The spiral homework I made is designed to review already taught concepts while providing practice of new skills at the same time. That’s why it is PERFECT for reducing “Test Prep Madness”! Take a LOOK!!!
This type of daily review, whether used for homework, morning work, or center work is critical is keeping skills fresh from when we teach them, all the way to the end of the year!
LEARN MORE about my Spiral Math Reviews; available for grades K-12
The bottom line is…don’t let TEST PREP sneak up on you! Incorporate review activities all year so you don’t go crazy of test prep!