One more day sick in bed. The other TA on my team texted me yesterday after school to let me know she was planning on taking my place on the zoo field trip so I could take care of myself. While her intentions were nothing but sweet, I was really looking forward to this ONE AND ONLY field trip of the year. Also? Staying back would mean that I would take over her classes for the day (since she would be with J), meaning I would be stuck with her anything-but-nice student. I decided this morning that I wasn't quite well enough to take on that responsibility today. So, I'm eating Popsicles in bed and watching The View instead.
OK... so it's Tuesday, which means I get to share a Teaching Tip!
I learned about this review game, called Bump from the FLEX (Foreign Language Experience) teacher, Sammy, in my building and immediately knew I wanted to keep this game in my bag of tricks.
Her seventh graders call it, "The Game Where Friendships are Made and Destroyed" because the competitive component is really what makes it so fun.
The instructions are simple:
1. All students stand in a large circle (around the desks works fine).
2. Teacher will read a review question and look for the FIRST student to raise his or her hand.
3. Student answers the question. If (s)he is correct, the student then chooses the person immediately to the left or right to be "out" of the game. If (s)he is wrong, (s)he is "out" of the game.
4. Students who are "out" must sit in the middle of the circle.
5. If students in the circle are unable or unwilling to provide a correct answer, students from the center get a chance. If correct, they are back "in" the game.
As you can imagine, it's quite entertaining to see the alliances formed and destroyed in just one round of this game. Nothing is funnier than watching a student be saved by a friend only to turn around and see the saved student "bump" the friend who originally saved him.
Sammy told me to play along with our students while we reviewed for our Spanish language and culture test, and I had so much fun. My strategy was to not raise my hand, letting the students take each other out. In the first round, I got second place and even bumped a native Spanish speaker, which my students really appreciated! I lost when my competitor raised her hand faster than me on the last question. And in my defense, my brain automatically translates everything into German first and THEN into Spanish because that's the order I learned foreign languages. It takes me a little extra time to raise my hand. Haha!
In our second round, I was bumped pretty early on... they didn't want to mess with me! :)
This is a great game for the competitive students in your class, and I like that there's an advantage for some of the quieter kids in the class (until they're in a position to get bumped, of course) as well.