Classroom Freebies

Using Review Stations for Test Prep in the Common Core Classroom

A great way to get students involved in quiz or test review is through stations! Our students love to not only get up and move around, but to compete as well. Through review stations, students are actively engaged in their learning.

The first thing we do is pick out 4-5 main concepts that we want students to master. An example would be a math unit on fractions. We would want students to know how to solve: equivalent fractions, adding fractions, subtracting fractions, and comparing fractions.  We then design questions/problems for each of the stations for students to answer. We put these questions in a folder.
After the questions are developed, we break the class into groups. We usually mix abilities in each group so there would be a high, middle, and low level learner in each. We have found this to be the most effective way to make teams as equal as possible. It is also fun to see the low level students get energized and involved with their teammates!

When we introduce the stations, we make sure to go over the rules and guidelines. Click here to access the rules and guidelines. We allow the teams to make up their own names that relate to the unit of study. For our fraction unit we had group names such as: Fraction Destroyers, Denominator Dominators, Numerator Ninjas, and First Place Fractions.

For each station the students have approximately 10 minutes to solve the problems that are in the folder. Points can be awarded to each team based on the number correct for each activity. When the students finish, there is an answer key taped to the bottom of the folder. They then can check their work and award their group points. You may think that groups will cheat and look at the answers right away, but if the rules are reviewed up front, you shouldn’t have any problems. Especially if the material that you have for each station is review for a test or quiz.

A fun twist we recently added to our review station activity was the “take a shot for your team” challenge. Before rotating to the next station, a member from each team comes to the front of the room. The object is to throw a ball into a regular storage crate from about 5 feet away. If it lands in the crate, the team gets 3 points. If it lands in the smaller bowl in the crate the team gets 10 points (see picture below). 

That way if a group is struggling with the review sheets, they can still feel success with earning points from taking a shot.
At the end of the stations, we add up all the points and find out which team was the winner. There are no trophies or awards for this team, just satisfaction in knowing that they placed first. We always talk about how each group worked hard, and reviewed the concepts for the test. We encourage all the students to take home the sheets from the stations to practice at home too.

Our students now look forward to review days and their parents appreciate having problems to review at home as well. Try review stations out in your classroom. We bet your students will love it!