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Fun Review Games for the Classroom

Language, Math, Reading
Blog header for Fun Review Games for the Classroom

Reviewing content does not have to be boring! Reviewing is necessary and to make it more meaningful we need to make it engaging and fun! Check out five ideas below for fun review games you could use in your classroom. (These games are mainly math focused, but you could use them for any subject matter).

Connect 4 Review Game

Connect 4 review questions and board

I got this idea from Candance (@themeaningfulmiddle on IG).  Connect 4 is always a fun game and it can be used to review any type of content! I’ve used it in math and to review classroom expectations.  This game can get very competitive and it’s fun to see the different strategies the teams use to win.

To play…

  • Divide your students up into teams.  I typically put 4-5 students on each team.
  • Each team gets a different color pad of sticky notes.  This is where they write their answers.
  • Create any type of questions (Math, ELA, Grammar. Social Studies, Science, etc). I project these on my Smart Board.  This photo is an example from a first grade math review.  (This is done ahead a time).  
  • Students will work with their team to answer the question and place their sticky note on the board.  The goal is to try to connect 4 horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.  Students may also place their sticky note in a way that blocks others from connecting 4.
  • Once a team has connected 4, I draw a line through the four and give the team a point.  The team with the most points at the end wins!

This game may get a little rowdy, but they have tons of fun and they are reviewing content all at the same time!

Connect 4 board with post-it notes

Crack the Code

Crack the Code review questions and sample code

I created Crack the Code last year as a way to review math content. This game works well with math because the hidden message is uncovered through numbers.  You could always use this with different content areas too.

To play…

Create your hidden message. I often make it a fun reward like (YOU GET EXTRA TIME AT RECESS) or something with a special treat.  

Then, you create the questions.  I typically create around 20.  You just want to make sure you have enough to cover all of the letters.  

The hidden message is put up on a white board (as seen in the first picture) and I normally show the actual content questions on my Smart Board.

The questions then align to the numbers which help them crack the code. For example, the problem 8 + 7 = ___.  Students will get 15 as their answer which corresponds to A.  You then fill in the letter A in the 15 number spot of the hidden message.

For students, I have them use white boards for this game. This way each child is engaged and participating.  Students will respond on their white boards and then show their answers.  We will then discuss, put the letter in the correct spot, and move on to the next question.

Once all of the questions are answered, the hidden message is complete and the kids will find out what it says. 

Basketball Review Game

Basketball room transformation. The basketball hoop baskets on the tables are used for the game.

This review game came to be because it tied in perfectly with my basketball room transformation during March Madness!

To play…

  • Divide your students up into teams.  I typically put 3-4 students on each team.
  • Each team gets a white board to respond to the questions.
  • Create any type of questions (Math, ELA, Grammar. Social Studies, Science, etc). I project these on my Smart Board.   (This is done ahead a time).  
  • Students will work with their team to answer the question. Once each group has answered any team who has the correct answer gets a chance to shoot a basket. (I gave a clear rotation for this so students knew the order and everyone got equal turns).
  • The basketball shooter would come up to the carpet with one of my tiny basketballs (foam or small ones) and would shoot it into the basketball Easter basket (you can see these on the students tables). If they got the ball in the basket, then their team earned a point. The team with the most points at the end – wins!
  • I didn’t get very clear pictures of this game, but you can see the basketball hoops used in the photo above!

Horseshoes Review Game

Horseshoe game

This review game came to be because it tied in perfectly with our Rodeo Day in February and my rodeo room transformation!

To play…

  • Divide your students up into teams.  I divided the class up into two teams.
  • Each team gets a white board to respond to the questions.
  • Create any type of questions (Math, ELA, Grammar. Social Studies, Science, etc). I project these on my Smart Board.   (This is done ahead a time).  You can see an example at the bottom of this paragraph.
  • Students will work with their team to answer the question. Once each group has answered any team who has the correct answer gets a chance to toss the horseshoe. (I gave a clear rotation for this so students knew the order and everyone got equal turns).
  • The student would come up to the carpet to throw the horseshoe. If they got it around the pole then their team earned a point (see picture above). The team with the most points at the end – wins! I got my horseshoe game at Amazon.
Review questions for finding the rule and the missing numbers.

Saran Wrap Game

Saran Wrap Ball Game

I know this game is often played as a holiday game at Christmas time, but it also works well as a review game!

To play:

  • Teacher sets up the saran wrap ball ahead of time. I included 16 review questions so I had 4 different colors and a total of 16 unifix cubes. I used blue, yellow, green, and orange and had paper that color coordinated.
  • Then, set up the review problems. I used a simple table and made sure the paper color coordinated to the colors in the saran wrap ball.
  • Students are each given their own review packet and each group is given a saran wrap ball. I had my students work in groups of 3-4.
  • One student unravels the saran wrap ball until a cube pops out. If it’s a yellow cube then everyone solves one problem on the yellow page.
  • This continues until all of the cubes are unwrapped and all of the problems are solved.
  • During the activity, I would go around to check for understanding and assist as needed while the students were solving the problems.

I hope this ideas are helpful and can make your review time more engaging. I know my students and I both enjoy these games and they definitely are more fun than a boring review packet.

Long Pin for Fun Review Games for the Classroom

Common vs. Proper Nouns

Language, Writing

Being back in first grade this year I’ve had to revamp the way I teach grammar and go back to the very introductory steps of teaching these skills.  Second graders had some background knowledge on nouns, verbs, etc., but first graders are just starting out!

With teaching nouns, the first week we just focused on common nouns. We created an anchor chart together, made lists of common nouns, sorted nouns by type, and more.

The second week we added in proper nouns and kids had to understand the difference between the two. In addition to watching a Brainpop Jr. video and creating anchor charts, I also created this sort.

I also had students do the below activity which turned out to be easy and engaging…

Common vs. Proper Nouns Sort

To start off, I put common nouns and proper nouns written on index cards in a bucket.  For example, cat, student, school, McDonald’s, Legos, etc.  Students then got to pick out a card.  They had to draw a picture to represent their nouns (I made sure it was nouns they would be familiar with) and then bring the card down to the carpet.

Once everyone was finished we took each card and sorted it one by one together into the correct category.  They did a great job and their pictures were pretty cute too!

Just wanted to share this simple activity. If you are looking for more introductory noun practice, check out my Common Noun Task Cards below… They can be found in my TPT Store – Team J’s Classroom Fun.



Learning About Verbs

Anchor Charts, Language, TPT, Writing

This week we spent two days working on verbs.  The first day we reviewed verbs (my kiddos keep getting confused on verbs, nouns, etc) and we started talking about verb tenses.  In second grade, the language standard focuses on students being able to use irregular verb tenses – made, swam, ran, etc. The CCSS standard is L2.1.

First, we created an anchor chart together.  We reviewed what a verb was and came up with some examples. Then, we used a mini tree map to practice changing the tenses of the verbs.

 
After creating our anchor chart, the kids went on a verb hunt using picture books. They each could pick a book of their choice and then they had to read each sentence, find the verb, and write the verb in their verb circle map.
 

 
Then, on day 2, came the fun interactive activity. I created a Verbs – Around the Room Activity for students to complete. There were 24 cards. Some asked questions on identifying the verb, some on changing a verb to a different tense, and some cards ask what tense the verb was in. This provided more practice on regular and irregular verbs and it is now available in my TPT store.  Check it out here
 

 
Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Be sure to check out Verbs Around the Room in my store!
 
 

Nouns

Language, Nouns

The new Common Core Standards are being used in full swing now at my school and I for one am loving the Common Core. At first, I was concerned about the increase in rigor and wondered would the kids really be capable of what they’re asking them to do.  Well, I have since realized that yes they are and it’s so important that we don’t limit kids because often times they will surprise you. 

Below are some ideas for teaching the Language standard on Nouns – Common and Proper.

We started out by watching a BrainpopJr clip on Nouns.  The kiddos love Moby so anytime I can incorporate Brainpop I definitely try to add it in.  After watching, we started our tree map on nouns.  We decided that nouns are used to name things and to start out with we were going to focus on people/animals, places, and things. 

After reading A Mink, A Fink, and a Skating Rink – A Story about Nouns, we added more nouns to our list (for now – common and proper nouns mixed…I was mainly worried about them understanding the noun without them worrying about what type of noun it was).  After studying, common nouns for a week we took our Common Noun Sorting Assessment.  We use Thinking Maps at our school, so I used a tree map for the assessment that matched our class anchor chart map.

Common Noun Word Sort – Tree Map Assessment

Week 2, we focused on the difference between common and proper nouns.  This was a little tricker to explain and the kids have definitely struggled a bit with this.  We first used the anchor chart we originally created about nouns and went back and reviewed the words.  We used two different colors and circled the common nouns in one color and the proper nouns in a different color.  Then, we read the story A Lime, A Mime, a A Pool of Slime – More About Nouns.  After reading the story, we made a tree map only for proper nouns.  See below…

After studying common and proper nouns, the kids took a test, again set up like the anchor chart tree map, however this time instead of sorting into people, places, and things, the kids had to decide if the noun was a common noun or a proper noun.

Common and Proper Noun Sort Tree Map Test