If there is one thing every teacher needs, it is a review game to fill in those “last five minutes” of the day with something meaningful. My mom (who is also a teacher) inspired me with this idea back in my substitute teacher days. This review game is both teacher and student approved!
Now as a Kindergarten teacher, I know that some days cleaning up and getting ready to go to lunch or dismissal can take two minutes, and other days it can take fifteen! But with this trick in your pocket, you will never need to worry about “wasting” extra time. ?
This review game works for any subject and is set up in 30 seconds. ?
Are you ready? It’s called “The Bubble Game.” ?
Yes, I know, I am so original. But my students BEG me to play.
Every. Single. Day.
How to Set Up the Bubble Game
First, decide what it is you want your students to review. I review whatever it is we are working on that week.
At the beginning of the year we would review numbers 1-10 or letters of the alphabet.
Now we use it to review sight words, CVC words, word families, or numbers 20-100. For this example, we are going to review short ‘u’ CVC words. It scales up perfectly.
Start by asking students to close their eyes and brainstorm what they think you are going to use for The Bubble Game today. Get those little brains thinking!
Clear your white board or SmartBoard and write the short ‘u’ CVC words (or whatever you are reviewing) scattered across the bottom of the whiteboard.
This is important: Students need to be able to reach the words!
Using a different color marker, circle each word. (Yes, it is that easy).
I usually write 10-15 “bubbles,” but depending on your time frame, you can write more or less.
Note: I teach only ESL students right now, so I am always focusing on English. The sentence frame I want them to use is written above the words. In this case, I would write, “This is the word _____.” You can easily adapt this sentence frame for whatever content you are reviewing.
How to Play the Bubble Game
Ask the students to open their eyes. Be prepared for the “OoOo’s” and “AwWw’s.” They think it is magic.
It is. Teachers are just plain magical! ?
Read the sentence frame to your students and have them repeat it back to you. You can also ask them if they see the pattern in your content.
If a student guesses it correctly (“You wrote only short ‘u’ words!”) then they can go first. Or, skip this step and just choose a student to go first.
The student goes to the front of the board with a white board eraser in hand. They pick a “bubble” to read. While pointing to the bubble, they turn to the class and use the word in the sentence frame: “This is the word sun.”
The class must chorally echo the student, if the student is correct. This keeps EVERY student engaged. ?
If the class echoes the word, then they get to erase the bubble.
If the student is wrong, one student can say, “Name, you might want to try another word,” or even give them a hint. We talk about being courteous and polite to our peers and helping them. It really is such a well rounded game!
Student Ownership in the Bubble Game
Next is the student’s FAVORITE part. They get to pick the student to go next. I tell them to make sure they pick a student who is sitting correctly and quietly.
Boy, do the kids take ownership in this!
That student gets to go next. Repeat until all the bubbles are erased or until it is time to go home.
After modeling and a few rounds of playing this game, students will be running it all on their own.
It is perfect because it gives you a few seconds to write that last note to a parent or make sure the last cubbies are emptied before students go home. ?
And there you have it – an engaging 30 second prep review game that incorporates any skill, public speaking, and speaking in complete sentences. Most importantly, the students LOVE it!
What quick prep review games do you use in your classroom?