With the end of the year students in classrooms throughout country are gearing for countless exams. From AP tests to end of year finals, the coming of summer seems to always have a big exam as a hurdle right before it. For years, I have tried to make review sessions before these tests and I’ve tried to make them as engaging and fun as possible. I’ve created a series of TV Game Show inspired review games that you can find on my Game Shows section of this website.
But one other review tool I, and my students, have really enjoyed is BINGO. Yes, that BINGO. Now it is still is the staple of county fairs and retirement homes but by creating your own, customizable BINGO game you can make your reviews Fun, Active, Student Centered, and Fun (oh… I think I said Fun twice)
Here are the steps on how I have done BINGO. Please reach out if you have any questions or ideas.
1) What's Your Subject?
Not just thinking about your unit of study you should also decide what you want the focus to be for this review. Like, is this going to be about Terms or People To Know.
2) Create your master list.
Do this in another document like your study guide. For example here is one I have used for my AP World History review. It is a list of 99 people to know. Feel free to use my list here to practice with.
3) Now you need to create your Bingo Board.
I have used many different programs in the past but this newest one (which I stumbled upon thanks to Tony Vincent) is called Bingo Baker. It is an online Bingo creator which is free but also has a premium feature too. You should find most of what you will need by just using the version.
The key to playing Bingo is that each student needs to have their own card and Bingo Baker allows you to do just that. You will need to decide if they are going to have PAPER copies of to play on or will they have a device and play DIGITALLY. If you are doing paper you will need to use the Print feature and choose the number of cards to match your number of students. When the game is played the student will simply mark on the paper bingo card each time one of their terms is called. If you are going to play digitally, have each student create their own card but doing the following by simply clicking on the link which you will provide them. You can get this link from under “Play Online”. It should look something like this: https://bingobaker.com/play/1174751
What is really fantastic about this is that this link will RANDOMIZE EVERY TIME YOU REFRESH THE LINK. That way every student will get a random card every time you play!
4) Lastly… you need to be the Bingo Caller and start the game.
But before you begin you need to think about how you can best make this truly a learning / review tool for your class. There are a couple ways you can do this.
First, you can simply just use the link in Bingo Baker called “Call List”. With this master list you can print them, cut them up and pull them randomly from a hat.
If the students are playing on a device they can even click on the names once they have been called as you can see here:
If you want something a little more exciting and dynamic try this Random Name Picker from ABCYa.com. It is quite the step up in name calling. It scrolls, has fun colors and even has “game show” style sound effects. After a name has been picked, you should choose “remove name” to take it out of the list and then spin again.
But even with this color and sound you need to think about “How can this be used as a review tool”? By just calling the names there is not much educational value. So here is my recommendation to kick it up a notch; Instead of calling the name (we will use my history example above of “Napoleon) how about reading a summary or giving clues. For example, I could pull the name Napoleon, read it to myself, and then ask… “who is this person; they came to power claiming to restore the Enlightenment and the French Republic, but in reality became more powerful than any past French King”. Then you can call upon a student for the right answer. If no one knows, you can give further clues. Then once the name has been called, players with that name can check it off their list. You can also ask follow questions… ones that can help them on future tests, for example, “what are some examples of how Napoleon SAVED the values of the French Revolution”? This way your game will become more of a conversation and dialogue.
5) Lastly, games and prizes.
Anytime you play a game you need to think about the rules so with BINGO you need to clearly give the rules about which game you are playing i.e. regular, “T”, Blackout, etc. Also I HIGHLY recommend giving prizes. Think about food… kids LOVE candy. Or you can throw out stickers, extra credit, etc.
In the end try to have fun but also think about HOW this can drive conversations!
I am re-posting my blog post from last year and adding a few other ideas well I've stumbled upon. This post is all about some fun and interesting ideas on how teachers can use Star Wars in their classrooms.
ORIGINAL POST FROM APRIL 2016:
Here are some resources that you may find interesting in using Star Wars with your students....
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. Complete with iambic pentameter these works bring us Star Wars but in Shakespearean language
Star Wars in the Classroom: The next two ideas come from THE NUMBER ONE RESOURCE ONLINE about using Star Wars in education. This is a treasure trove of ideas, resources, lessons and a robust community all interested in sharing. For example check this out. Below is a screen shot of search on this site for "hero's journey". This brings up many examples of teachers in this community who have shared lessons on this subject.
From Democracy to Dictatorship. Here is a blog post I wrote for the "Innovate My School" site about how used Star Wars to help my students understand how historically some nations simply allowed dictators to rise like Caesar, Napoleon and Hitler just like the emperor's rise in Star Wars
8 Things Star Wars Can Teach Us About Writing. This post with ideas like "Even the Death Star Had a Weak Spot." and others helps would be writers by channeling lessons learned from Star Wars.
Star Wars Teaching Ideas. A Pinterest board from John Adamski
NY Times Post: Lastly, this blog post from the NY Times gives links to lesson ideas from everything from Yoda grammar on Grammar Girl's blog to the issues behind the Physics of Space Battles.
Oh, did you know that May 4th is the unofficial Star Wars day simply because of the pun "May the Forth Be With You". There tons of puns and memes floating around social media. But there is actually a page at starwars.com about this day and what people around the world do to celebrate.
Recently my district had our Spring Professional Development day. Myself and our TOSA team were tasked with much of the planning and organizing of this event. Even though this is a big task, it is one which we really love doing. Everything from organizing sessions to setting up balloons were part of our duty. This post is about one of the small parts of this day which I thought may be useful to other educators. The basic idea is to create your own your sticky notes and candy wrappers.
During our day (and in fact its one of our overarching goals) we wanted to “push our brand”. Our brand is #rusdproud and our focus is to promote and celebrate all the incredible things happening in and around Rocklin Unified. For this particular day, we also were showing a new way for us to push this brand; that being our ROCK Talks. These are TED Talk style videos which are highlights of staff members in our district. Instead of TED we chose ROCK which stands for Reflections, Out of the Box, Connections, and Kudos. I hopefully will write more about these videos and the progress of this in the near future. For now you can find our YouTube playlist here.
Now back to this post and about candy and sticky notes.
We wanted to have sticky notes to go hand in hand with our KUDOS which is where we wanted everyone to pause for a moment, think about who helped them on their journey in education and to give thanks. Instead of just passing out sticky notes, we wanted to use this opportunity to brand our #rusdproud as well as our ROCK Talk message. These sticky notes were created in Google Drawing, then we downloaded the image, uploaded it to VistaPrint and ordered bundle of them. Here is the link to Google Drawing file. Feel free to make a copy, and then add your shapes, images and colors.
Below you can see the file uploaded to VistaPrint and the finished product.
To wrap up the day, we wanted to leave everyone with a little treat as well as a reminder of theme. So we thought… "what does everyone need a little at the end of the day...CHOCOLATE!"
But instead of just the regular basket of goodies, I took an idea from my wife where she helped my daughter's campaign to run for high school government. She created candy wrappers (again in Google Drawing) to go over the existing little Hershey miniatures. Unlike using a service like VistaPrint we did this all at home. This process was a few steps:
1) Create the wrappers in Google Drawing
2) Copy and paste this image into a Google Doc. Take Note: I had to use the EDIT - WEB CLIPBOARD feature in order to copy all of the items from the image. Then in the Google Doc I used the Web Clipboard to paste them. (here is the link to the document which you can copy)
3) In order to print them and maximize the number of wrappers per page, we copied the image multiple times which you can see here
If you would like to see my district candy wrapper and then make a copy to try it on your own use this link
Lastly, below you can some screen shots of these wrapper and doc files.
Good luck and please reach out if you have any questions
Here is a list of some great ones from the past to check out: