Racing, Reviewing, and Acronyms


I was recently reminded in a staff meeting of an activity that I have done in the past to review key concepts or skills taught in class.  The activity was being used in a staff meeting to help with the monotony that some teachers feel if they have to sit and be lectured to.  An additional purpose for using the activity was to give teachers a strategy that they could take back to their own classrooms and implement.  In fact, most of the meeting was conducted n the same manner, so that if the teachers didn’t grasp all of the material, they could at least take back some ideas.  I wish all staff meetings, or a majority of them, were presented in this fashion.  Even if the material itself was dull, teachers could be inspired by one of the activities! 

The activity is pretty simple.  I’m going to call it the Acronym Relay.  To begin the activity, students need to be divided into groups or teams.  Since I have my students sitting in groups of four, I could just keep them in these groups, or I could combine two groups together to have a group of eight students; however, smaller groups may be better for this activity.  In my classroom, groups of four, would give me eight or nine groups.  On large sheets of paper, the word acronym would be written vertically.  Each groups of students would line up behind one of the large sheets of paper.  The student at the front of the line would be given a marker.  On my signal, groups would start the review.  The first person would write a word or phrase beginning with one of the letters that have been written vertically.  The word or phrase would review skills, strategies, or content related to the unit or lesson we are currently studying.  When the first person has completed his or her answer, the marker is handed to the next person to write an answer for a different letter of the vertical word.  This continues until all of the letters have a word or phrase written next to them.  This activity can be performed as a race or just an expectation.  Also, the word, acronym, could be replaced with a term or phrase from the current unit. 

This activity is a fun and easy way to involve students in a quick review of material.  It also was a great way to get teachers up and out of their seats to review information that was necessary for them to know.  Plus, like I have said in previous posts regarding students, once teachers returned to their seats following the activity, they were able to focus better on the next set of information.