Monday, November 30, 2009

Poker Chip Test Review

I stole this idea from Kate over at f(t) and modified to make it mine. I thought it worked great and would like to share with you.

I don't know about you, but I dread test review days. How do you get the students to take the reviews seriously? You want for them to see the importance of doing the review for the sake of learning, but instead all you hear are comments like "Is this for a grade", or "Do we get extra credit for doing the review?"

I've been trying to collect interesting ways of reviewing for tests and I have shared a few like my Test Review Bingo game. Today we played something called Poker Chip Test Review. I'll admit, it involves a little bribery, but I'll do just about anything to get my math models kids to study for a test and actually do the review.

Here is what you need:
1. 5 poker chips for each group
2. A test review for each person in the class
3. One worked-out answer key for each group

1. Place students into groups of 3-4 and have them appoint a "Chip-Master" and a "Key-Master". I told them that the chip master should be the bossiest person in the group and the key master should be the most responsible person in the group.
2. Hand out 5 poker chips to each chip master, the reviews to each person in the group, and an answer key to each key master
3. The poker chips represent 1-2 bonus points on the test the following day. I made mine worth two since my math models kids usually have such low test grades.
4. The role of the chip master is to keep the group on task and to be in charge of the chips.
5. The role of the key master is to keep the answer key face down and to check the answers for the group after they finish each problem or section of problems. (Be sure the key master understands that they have to do the review also)
6. Teacher circulates around the room answering questions and confiscating chips as the need arises.

Here is what I confiscated chips for (decide what is important to you and make your own list):

1. Group is off task or not following classroom rules. (Today I took up chips for talking about non-math related subjects, cell phone texting, profanity, etc)
2. Copying answers directly off answer key
3. One or two members doing the work and the others copying that work
4. Asking me a question that they had not discussed with the entire group before asking me.

At the beginning of class, I was very strict and tried to confiscate several chips right away. This got the rest of the groups busy . I was amazed to see them actually discuss problems and help each other. With six groups, I was able to easily spend quality time with each group. I would stop by and discuss the set of problems they were working on and talk about what they needed to remember for the test tomorrow. I was also amazed at how seriously some of the chip masters and key masters took their jobs. It really kind of surprised me. They did not want those chips taken away. I only had one group in each class that had the full 10 points at the end, and one poor group only had one-token left at the end of the period.

Overall, it was a successful day and an idea I'll definitely use again.

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