Rewrite test questions (or use released questions) using the most common errors students make as answers. If you use the released questions, make sure all of the answers are things a student would say.
Display the question for all to see. Have students explain how to solve (HTS) the problem. Use the process of elimination (POE). The class can earn a point for excellent effort and accurate answers. The points will be cashed in for a special prize (extra time playing Mind Soccer, etc. not candy!)
All of this work is recorded on student whiteboards. On the top, students write HTS and leave room to write. On the bottom, they write the letters A-D and leave space after each. Students explain their thinking on their whiteboard. You can use many variations in the top section to keep the game fresh.
This is great for math, language arts, and reading comprehension. For example, in reading comprehension there are three ways Coach B. suggests to solve these problems: answer now (answer the question without going back into the passage), find and compare (compare answers to parts in the passage), and read again (reread the passage). Since there are three types of questions, we should teach them how to solve all three types!
Now, let's move onto the game. As with all WBT games, the only rule is to keep the ref happy! Make a 3 column chart on the board. Label the columns effort, answer, penalties. Then write the letters A-D on the bottom of the chart in the lower right corner.
-Penalty points are for back talk and being a bad sport.
-Effort points are given for working hard, however you define it. Big gestures, high energy, on-task discussion, using prop, etc. This has nothing to do with the correct answer. They can earn between 1-3 points at a time in this category.
-Answer points are a little more complex. After students have recorded their work on their whiteboard, play a quick round of QT. On top of the A-D that you have written on the bottom of the scoreboard, make a vertical line in a corresponding length to the number of students who chose that letter. If most students chose A, there will be a long vertical line over A. If 2 students chose B, there will be a very short vertical line over B, etc.
Cover the diagram you have made so students can't see. Reveal dramatically. If every child or some children got the right answer, award between 1-3 points. Keep the scoring flexible each time. 10-20 points should be the maximum number of points students should score per day.
On to the next webcast...
I will admit that I was not very excited to watch the State Test Prep webcast before I started. I have taught in "accountable grades" before teaching in first. So much of the time spent is on preparing students for the test. All you hear is test, test, test and it is easy to get burnt out quickly. This webcast, however energized me in the Test Prep category.
There are three "big ideas" that go with this strategy and they are:
1. Daily Tests: Make sure the test has distractors or wrong answers that are very close to the right answer. Work in grade level teams to make good question banks. Start with about 10 minutes per day in the second week of school. Work up to about 1 hour.
2. Visible Behavior: Don't just tell students to read carefully, give them a visible behavior they can do to show this. Instead, have them underline important things and double underline really important things.
3. Rewards: Super Improver stars for improving in different categories.
Here are some other ideas and tips that I have learned:
1. Have students make a "Personal Neatness Model" where they print their neatest model. Every time they write, they need to try to write neater than their model. It keeps setting the bar higher and higher at their own level of ability. Love this!
2. You can practice reading comprehension questions with students without them reading the passages. Have them just read the question type and share what type of strategy they would use with that type of problem. What a time saver!
3. There is an app coming out for the iPad and iPhone that is a Scoreboard. I can't wait to download this one!