Ever get tired of doing test prep worksheets? Endless test review seatwork that feels like a drudgery? The tests are sucking the energy out of the classroom!
You know the students hate it too. They dread traditional test review!
But you know students need to…
- practice the same thinking required on a test
- develop analytical skills that are required on tests
What’s a great and simple strategy to make this happen and to be engaging for test prep?
The answer is, Test Question Slap Down!
I’m going to walk you through this test review strategy, show how it benefits students more than other test prep, and give some helpful tips.
How the Strategy Works
This strategy is a total response strategy where each student participates with every question asked in a test review setting.
Each student will need a set of index cards that have the answer choices on them. Just a simple set of four cards with an A, B, C, D.
- Each student has the row of index cards on their desk
- Post a question on a projector or on their devices (i.e. PowerPoint or NearPod)
- Ask analysis questions about the test questions.
- The students slap down the answer choice that best fits your question.
What are Analysis Level Questions
This test review strategy is less about simply getting the correct answer. It is more about getting students to think deeply about test questions. Here are some questions to help students analyze:
- Which of these questions is the absolute worst?
- Which of these answers is the closest distractor?
- Which of these answers would a good reader pick if they weren’t paying attention to the details?
- Which of these answers would you pick if you didn’t read the question closely?
- Which of these answers would you pick if you misunderstand the meaning of this word?
- Which of these is the best answer?
Test Review to Think Deeply
The questions above focus on developing thinking skills. That is the objective of Test Question Slap Down. It’s not just test review!
Students should be required to explain why they slap down an answer choice. This strategy is designed to promote deeper thinking. Getting students to explain their thinking is a valuable piece allowing them to learn from each other.Quality test review isn't test review. It's focused on thinking skills! Click To Tweet
Slap Down Formative Assessment
Test Question Slap Down is one of the quickest ways to gather formative assessment data during test review. When students slap down an answer choice they must leave their hands on the answer. This allows you to quickly scan the room and see what the students are thinking.
Target your questions based on what answers the students pick. The prompt is simple, “Why did you slap [answer]?”
You might want to call on a student who is incorrect or call on a student who is correct. The discussion that ensues is valuable feedback for you to know student mastery. The discussion is also feedback for students to deepen their understandings!
Fun and Engaging Test Review
Students just love it! The fun and playfulness involved create an environment where they don’t even realize they’re doing the same boring old test review.
Students like the physical aspect of Slap Down. They like the auditory stimulation of slapping a desk. It’s just not something that normally gets done in a classroom.
All of these reasons help students to be intrinsically motivated about the task. These are all reasons that students will pay closer attention during test review. And they will achieve more learning as a result!
Classroom Management Tips
Here are a few pointers to make this activity run smoothly
- Before you ask your questions get students to hover their hands. This means slowly move their hand in the air above the answer choices on their desk. You’ll be able to quickly see which students are ready to listen.
- Students will want to slap the desk multiple times for one question. This is not allowed – you’ll quickly find it to be noisy and disruptive. Before you begin the activity let students practice slapping their desk when you call an answer choice. They only get to slap one time. We want them to think before they choose. This is a great skill that transfers to testing.
- You will want the cards on the desks in a straight line. Students will want to place them on the four corners or vertically or diagonally. It’s easier for you to monitor if the cards are arranged in the same direction.
If you are interested in other highly engaging teaching strategies or test review techniques, I recommend:
- Games with Task Cards
- Teaching Strategies
- Reading Test Prep Without the Headaches
- Comparing Fractions Scavenger Hunt