Do you have any great final exam review activities?
I have two review days with my classes next week before our final exams.
Today I had students make a list of all the topics we've learned this year, then rank those topics according to what they felt was most difficult to least difficult. Then as a class we made a big list on the board, and I put stars next to the topics that the students felt were the "scariest". Then I had them create outlines with that big master list of topics. Under each topic, they wrote bullet points with what they know about the topic and what questions they still have.
Next week I'll be delivering mini lessons about each topic. Students will be able to tune into the topics they need and can sort of tune out the topics that they're comfortable with. I told them that their outlines will be helpful because they can go ahead and ask the questions that they need to ask, instead of thinking of the questions outside of class when they can't ask me.
Almost everyone told me that they thought this would be a good activity and a good way to review for our finals. Of course, a few students would rather play games. I was a little surprised when one girl piped up that sometimes review games aren't helpful because students space out on the material they don't know and focus too much on winning the game instead of learning what they don't already know. I thought that was really insightful! (For the record, I do believe that games have their place, but I definitely agree with what this student said.)
What high-quality, effective review activities do you use in your classroom?
I have never done this, but it just came to me and I think it's like "Get One, Give One." You could write each major topic on a piece of paper and distribute these around the room. Each student writes something important they know about that topic and passes the paper on to the next person. As the lists get longer, students have to think harder about the topic in order to add to the list. Then you could collect the papers and go over the lists with the class.
This is a bit off-topic, but it might be helpful: I just did my BTSA topic on daily and weekly formative assessments, and doing whiteboard quizzes was really helpful in knowing what to re-teach.
As for review games, someone on this board recommended Trashketball to me once, and it's now a staple. My students love it, and they're constantly occupied. I only have them stay on one topic for 4-5 minutes, so there's no opt out when it comes to getting stuck on something. That way I know they're at least getting something the day before the exam.
One thing my foreign language teacher always did for vocabulary type review, is put a transparency with a bunch of words on the board. He put two flyswatters on the whiteboard tray, and split the class in half. He numbered each side 1 to whatever, so there were two people approximately the same distance away from the board that had the same number.
He would then pose a definition or a question or a sentence, and using a hat or something would pick a random number. The two students with that number would run up to the board, grab the fly-swatter and smack the correct word. Whoever hit it first won a point for their side.