Having a toolbox of go-to review activities is beneficial at any point in the year, but especially at the end of the school year. As students (and teachers) start to get restless for the summer vacation, we need to be able to pull out tried and true activities that will challenge students, help them review material covered, and keep them engaged.
Keep reading to find my favorite ways to keep students engaged and in the target language during any review season!
- Students’ favorite review games
- Editable Study Guides
- Editable projects – great for assessment or review
If you know me at all, you know that games are my go-to. They help me keep my students motivated and on task, and I love that there’s opportunity for collaboration and teamwork.
There are certain games that can be used at any time during a unit, even on the first day! However, today I want to talk about how I use the following games specifically for review.
LA SILLA CALIENTE
La Silla Caliente is a whole group game that involves breaking students up into teams. Students work together with their team to build their overall score, but they don’t collaborate during actual gameplay. It is unique in that it is a whole class game where students work *individually* for the most part.
I *love* La Silla Caliente for many reasons, but the topmost one is that it turns even my most restless classes into a room full of fully engaged participants. They get VERY competitive during this game, and ask for it more than our other activities. Second on the list for reasons why I love it? It can be used for the *entire* class period if needed… which can really be a savior on those tough days. This also means that we don’t play it as often as our other games, which makes it all the more special to my students.
When it comes to review, I love that La Silla Caliente allows me to see where each and every one of my students stands without calling too much attention to them individually. In this activity, every student responds to every single question- and I get to see their answers each time. I can take note of specific questions that seem to stump the class, and I can also track students who stand out as needing extra review. Again, this activity allows me to do this in a way that doesn’t really call-out those struggling students in a way that others will notice; just you! 🙂
La Silla Caliente can be adjusted for any unit or topic, and any game length! It is ALL up to you.
I recently updated all of my game sets to be completely editable, AND I developed a digital score-tracker that will help you, too! No more math mistakes on the whiteboard for me 🙂
To learn more about La Silla Caliente and exactly how to play, you can read the game tutorial right here.
I know many teachers have utilized this in hybrid/remote environments as well, utilizing tools such as Peardeck. I personally have only ever played in person with my students.
This has always and will always be one of my favorite activities. Unlike La Silla Caliente, Taco Tuesday can be played for ANY amount of time. We only have 5-7 minutes before a quiz? Sure! We have 10-15 minutes to kill before the bell rings on the end of a Friday and everyone is restless? Perfect!
This partner/small group game is GREAT for review season. By this time of year, students typically have someone they are comfortable working/competing with! Some of my students even tally their wins throughout the year (lol.) That makes setup quick and easy. It is consistently one of my students’ favorite games each year, which also makes it very beneficial during review season. Students are tired, teachers are tired. Taco Tuesday is fun and they already know it! You already have your buy-in established. Done and done!
If you have ever played any vocab racing game like Matamoscas, then you and your students truly already know how to play. Taco Tuesday takes that classroom game where only 2 students can play at a time, and makes it so that ALL students can play at the exact same time. They can play in pairs or small groups, too, which adds even more flexibility to your setup. For more flexibility and differentiation ideas, see the tutorials I have linked below for you!
I love that Taco Tuesday can be used to review any vocab or grammar unit, or even after a class novel. I have designed various sizes of editable templates right here so you can truly customize the game to fit your class needs.
ALL of my Taco Tuesday games are now ready for in person or digital play. Yes, this means hybrid, too! I have a feeling I may use the digital version even when all of my students are face to face (which they are at my school right now and will be hopefully in the fall as well.)
If you haven’t played before, there is a tutorial here for traditional ideas and differentiation strategies, and a second tutorial right here for the digital updates! There are walkthrough videos to help you as well as access to a few free downloads 🙂 You’ve got this! Have fun!
Editable Reading Activities
My last “favorite review game” isn’t actually a game at all. Sometimes, students are overwhelmed during review season. They don’t have the energy for games, and would benefit more from individual work (or quieter group work.) In my classes, I try to bring reading activities into the rotation here.
I try to make sure my readings all start with a warmup, work through a reading passage, have comprehension activities, and then even work all the way through a writing prompt. This provides me A LOT of flexibility with my students.
If they need a full independent class as I walk around working with them quietly in their small groups, these activities are structured in a way that we can do just that.
Are they ready to do the warmup together, break out to even do the reading aloud in their small groups, work with their group on the comprehension questions, and then work on their own for the writing? Also a smooth plan.
All of my reading packets have recently been updated to be digital and completely editable.
I hope this helps you to add even more flexibility into your classroom on those days where you need to put on some music, and allow your students to work peacefully.
These are also a great option if you have students who need to make quiz corrections or complete makeup work – while you attend to them, the rest of your class has a structured plan they can easily follow and come to you for help when needed 🙂 Answer keys are included in all of mine, so they could even self-check if you needed them to!
EDITABLE STUDY GUIDES
In my school, during review/exam season (at the end of quarters 1, 2, 3, and 4) we give oral exams to our students. Some teachers have students record, and some are able to balance multiple students recording at once. This has never worked for me, to be honest. I prefer sitting with my students 1×1 (or in pairs if it is a partner/spontaneous conversation style prompt) and giving them my focus in the moment. This helps me for various reasons. I don’t have to worry about cheating/translator use since I am looking at the students. I can prompt students during the process- if they forget a word or phrase, I support them, while in a recording this may lead to a minute of silence or a student giving up. This ALSO saves me time on grading, as I am grading live on our proficiency as we go, taking notes, rather than sitting at home later listening to 140 recordings. I have ALSO found that it has made me a more *fair* grader, as with a recording I would find myself listening 2-3 times and noticing more errors (when that’s NOT the point… communication is!) Anyways, I digress. The point of me mentioning this process is that while I am outside in the hallway with my students working 1×1… I need something for my students INSIDE. I need something structured, and something they can work on individually or in small groups (quietly.)
This process is what led me to create these study guides. I can assign them to my students as I work out in the hallway. I motivate them to work together, and they have the option of preparing for their oral exam or working on these.
With these two options, there’s no reason my class should be loud while I’m sitting just outside the door. This process goes well for me, though there has been one year (with one class) that we did the oral exams inside since my class was a little *too* excited about the opportunity to work together on these 😉
All of my study guides for Spanish 1, 2, and 3 have recently been updated to be digital and completely editable – I hope you love these new options! I have also recently added an answer key to each one. I don’t provide the answer key to my students right away, but instead provide it on the last day of the oral exams.
The only exams I give each year at the exams required by my school; we give 4 quarterly exams including the midterm and the final. Otherwise, I prefer to assess my students through quizzes and projects.
I love that projects are flexible, and give students the opportunity to showcase their skills in different ways. They allow my students to shine in ways that tests typically do not.
I also love incorporating student choice as much as I can. That is a feat that is accomplished very easily with projects!
During review season, we often go back to previous projects we have done. It is great for students to review their past work and see how far they have come! Many times, students ask to make corrections or adjustments to their previous work. In my opinion, this is time very well spent! I love that my students want to showcase their own growth, and to me it shows that they are proud of the skills they have acquired throughout the year.
Most or all of my projects have buildable options and are set up in a way so that students can easily add pages to previously completed projects. For example, they may have completed a project earlier in the year where I asked them to choose 3 or 4 of the project options for the conditional tense. Within the project itself, I may provide 8 total options. In order to review before our final, I may instruct them to go back to this project and add one more of the options.
All of my projects have recently been updated and are digital-friendly as well as completely EDITABLE.
This means you can easily adjust some of the options if needed to provide end of year review for your students. And truly, I believe you’ll find I have those options already added for you! 🙂
I incorporate as much student choice as possible into my projects, which means we can always go back to them. I hope you find something that will work for your students!
Want to hear more about how I use projects and why I love them so much?
I chatted with Ashley from @SrtaSpanish about why I love projects so much, how often I use them, why I use them….. and what I’ve learned over the years about providing student choice!
You can catch the replay of that video right here!
I hope this post leaves you with some new ideas to try during this review season. As you wind down at the end of the year, I want to remind you that all of your work this year has not gone unnoticed. It may feel like teachers can never do enough to please everyone (schools, admin, families, the community,) but I’m here to remind you that your hard work IS seen and valued. Keep it up, profe.
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