Saturday, April 20, 2019

Seven Fun Ways to Review for a Test Using Multiple Choice Questions

It's sort of become a necessary evil. In order for kids to be successful in the awkward format that
standardized tests have, we have to give them some exposure to navigate the format of multiple choice questions.
But it's soooooo boring. 

Here are six ideas you can use to make multiple choice fun and destroy the test prep blues. They'll help you give the kids the practice they need while keeping them engaged!

The best part? You've probably got all this stuff already. You don't have to go to Target or the Dollar Store...unless you want to. Let's face it. Who doesn't want to go to Target? Nobody.

1. Dry Erase Response Boards

Low tech, low prep

To prepare for this strategy:
This is such an easy strategy! Give each student a dry erase board and a marker. These are sold at Target at the beginning of the year in the Dollar Spot, at the Dollar Store, or (even cheaper) you can make your own! Just laminate a piece of white or light-colored cardstock!

Test prep can be fun and motivating with these ideas for answering multiple choice questions! Each strategy can be used for math, reading, or writing questions to practice for any standardized test. Grab a freebie to get you and your students started.


To use it:
1. Place a multiple choice question on the projector, or have each student look at their copy of the question on their desks.
2.  Give them a set amount of time to work on the question.
3. When the timer goes off, ask them to record their answer (A,B,C,or D for multiple choice) on the dry erase board.
4. Use a signal word, such as "GO!" or "Show me!" for students to hold their boards up, all at the same time, facing towards you. 
5. Ask a student or two to justify their thinking, or to explain their thinking to their partner. 

You can easily scan across the room and see who's got it and who doesn't!

Alternate method: 
First, ask students to choose the answer that's clearly wrong and display that. Then ask them to choose one more wrong choice. This will help them integrate their multiple choice strategies into their thought process!

2. Answer Choice Cards

Test prep can be fun and motivating with these ideas for answering multiple choice questions! Each strategy can be used for math, reading, or writing questions to practice for any standardized test. Grab a freebie to get you and your students started.Low tech, medium prep (just the first time)

To prepare for this strategy, you have a couple of options...
1. Print out A, B, C, D options on different colors of paper. Laminate them. Hole punch them in the corner. Put them on a binder ring.

OR

2. Use different-colored index cards. Write a different answer choice on each one: A, B, C, D. Laminate them. Hole punch them in the corner. Put them on a binder ring.

How to use it:
Similar to the dry erase response board, you're going to...
1. Place a multiple choice question on the projector, or have each student look at their copy of the question on their desks.
2.  Give them a set amount of time to work on the question.
3. When the timer goes off, ask them to choose their answer (A,B,C,or D for multiple choice) and place that card on top.
4. Use a signal word, such as "GO!" or "Show me!" for students to hold their cards up, all at the same time, facing towards you. 
5. Ask a student or two to justify their thinking, or to explain their thinking to their partner.

Because you've used different colors for each answer choice, you can easily see who's got it. If most of your kids are holding up pink but two are holding up green, you can immediately tell who might need some intervention. (Hopefully, in this scenario, pink is the right answer.)

Alternate method: 
First, ask students to choose the answer that's clearly wrong. Then ask them to choose one more wrong choice. This will help them integrate their multiple choice strategies into their thought process!

Test prep can be fun and motivating with these ideas for answering multiple choice questions! Each strategy can be used for math, reading, or writing questions to practice for any standardized test. Grab a freebie to get you and your students started.

3. Four Corners

Low tech, low prep

To prepare for this strategy...
This one's easy peasy. Designate each corner in your classroom as a different answer choice (A, B, C, D). You can stick a post-it or a sign up there if you like, to help kids remember.
 How to use it:

1. Place a multiple choice question on the projector, or have each student look at their copy of the question on their desks.
2.  Give them a set amount of time to work on the question.
3. When the timer goes off, ask the kids to decide on their choice. Then, use a signal word such as "Move!" or "Choose!" to signal that students are to move to the corner that represents their choice. They must move in as direct a path as possible, without changing directions. It's also important to teach them not to run. That's why I don't recommend making "Go!" your signal word, as that is pretty much going to start them off at the races! 
4. Once students have moved to their spots, you can ask them to justify their reasoning.

Test prep can be fun and motivating with these ideas for answering multiple choice questions! Each strategy can be used for math, reading, or writing questions to practice for any standardized test. Grab a freebie to get you and your students started.

4. Toss It

Low tech, low prep

To prepare for this strategy:
1. Gather four containers and label them A, B, C, D.
2. Collect enough mini erasers, counters, counting bears, talking chips, or any small manipulative for each student in your class to have one.
You can do this in teams or groups by using smaller containers (cups and min erasers work really well), or you can do this whole group by using larger containers (bins, trash cans, and counting bears or balled-up pieces of paper).

How to use it:
1. Place a multiple choice question on the projector, or have each student look at their copy of the question on their desks.
2.  Give them a set amount of time to work on the question.
3. When the timer goes off, ask the kids to decide on their choice. Then, use a signal word such as "Move!" or "Choose!" (again, I do not recommend "Go!") to have students move to the container that represents their choice and drop their answer in.
4. Have a few students justify their thinking.

This one works well when you're not concerned about figuring out who got it right or wrong, but you do want kids to do the thinking and justify their reasoning.

Test prep can be fun and motivating with these ideas for answering multiple choice questions! Each strategy can be used for math, reading, or writing questions to practice for any standardized test. Grab a freebie to get you and your students started.

5. Stick-It Chart

Low tech, low prep

To prepare for this strategy:
1. Divide a piece of cardstock or construction paper into four quadrants and label them A, B, C, D. Make one of these charts for each team or group.
2. Give each student a post-it and have them write their name on it.

How to use it:
1. Place a multiple choice question on the projector, or have each student look at their copy of the question on their desks.
2.  Give them a set amount of time to work on the question.
3. When the timer goes off, ask the kids to decide on their choice. Then, use a signal word such as "Stick it!" or "Smack it!" Students use that cue to stick or smack their post-it into the quadrant that represents their choice.
4. Have students take turns justifying their thinking. Each student should justify their response.

Test prep can be fun and motivating with these ideas for answering multiple choice questions! Each strategy can be used for math, reading, or writing questions to practice for any standardized test. Grab a freebie to get you and your students started.

6. Dot Stickers

Zero tech, low prep

To prepare for this strategy:
1. Divide a piece of construction paper or cardstock into the number of questions you want kids to work through and number them. You can use the back, too. Each group needs one sheet.
2. Provide each student with a sheet of dot stickers. If you want, they can label the stickers A (red), B (blue), C (yellow), D (green, or whatever colors you've got).


How to use it:
1. Place a multiple choice question on the projector, or have each student look at their copy of the question on their desks.
2.  Give them a set amount of time to work on the question.
3. When the timer goes off, ask the kids to decide on their choice. Then, use a signal word such as "Stick it!" or "Smack it!" Students use that cue to stick or smack the dot that represents their answer choice into the square for the number they worked on.
4. Ask students to justify their thinking and come to a consensus on their answer choice.
*This can also be done whole-group if you use chart paper.

7. Plickers

Some tech, more prep (only you need a smart device)

Ok, this is the one that requires stuff you might not have, just because you have to print out the plickers - the first time. 
To prepare for this strategy:
Plickers is a fun online tool that you can use for free!
To prepare for this strategy...
1. Visit the Plickers website and set up an account.
2. Follow the directions for creating your cards and questions.

How to use it:
1. This works in a similar way to the dry erase response boards. Students will hold their plicker (paper clicker) up in the fashion that represents their answer choice.
2. Scan a smart device across the room and your students' names and answer choices selections will pop up on your device!


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