Thursday, November 3, 2011

Challenge your older students with games!

A great game to play to reward your older students for studying at home is Jeopardy! Well, not completely...we have modified it somewhat to encourage participation from all, even the most timid, as well as give everyone a chance to answer.

Our game board looks like this.

Print the number cards, or make your own. This one was made from tag board and cardstock--I don't know if it will make it through the whole year. Maybe next year a cloth and laminate...Hmm the possibilities.

We begin with just questions from Week 1.

Then, each week new questions are added. A few old ones are left in so no one gets soft on review. Our group just started states and capitals, and they are going home to study hard!

I've uploaded the first quarter questions here so you don't have to type them up. I print them on cardstock so they last longer. I got fancy with the second quarter questions and color coded them by week. Here are the third quarter questions.

How do we play ? We begin by dividing the group into two teams. Each team member has a number. Team A player 1 goes first. If he gets the answer, his team gets the points. If he misses, his team mates have a chance, but only for half the points. Then Team B Player 1 picks a category. Same as before, either he gets it right for full points, or his team mates help for half points. Play continues with Team A Player 2.

This system works much better for us than "group" answers - you know how there's always one kid who knows them all and the others don't bother. "Buzzzing in"--well that will just drive a tutor batty making the judgement call. Our system also means everyone matters on the team, as no one can melt into the background. (We ditched the answer-is-a-question format. It just didn't seem to go that well with our memory work)

Remember, class time is limited, so keep the game moving quickly. There just isn't time to hum the whole Jeopary song while someone thinks! They either know the answer or they don't. We spend just 20 minutes and usually clear the board each week.

Rewarding the winners. How you chose to reward the winning team is up to you. We keep a running score for 3 weeks, then make new teams. Our rewards are usually saint medals, holy cards, or CANDY! Don't get carried away with prizes--the good feeling that comes with a good performance should be fostered as much as possible. And remember, in real life we lose sometimes. Encourage everyone to study, study, study!


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