If you’ve ever wondered what cooperative learning review games are all about, then this post is for you.
Cooperative learning is all the rage, and deservedly so, but it can’t all be good right? What is the truth about these review games and how can you best use them to engage your students in deep content?
What Are Cooperative Learning Review Games?
Cooperative learning review games are exactly what they sound like, review games that require students to work cooperatively towards a common goal.
These games harness the magic that is cooperative learning strategies along with an element of gamification that builds student engagement to an all time high!
To learn more about cooperative learning and why it is ideal for classrooms, check out this post.
What Content Can Be Used With Cooperative Learning Review Games?
Almost any content you can think of!
The best use of cooperative learning strategies is going to be with content that allows for rich discussion among partners or teammates including math that requires students to work out answers, reading comprehension where students must back up their response with the test, or opinions that allow students to express how they came to that realization.
The richer the dialogue among students the more engaging and deep the learning will be.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a quick game with math facts, because cooperative learning review games work for that too!
Is The Best Team Size Really 4 Students?
Yes and no.
For most cooperative learning strategies, the best number of students per team are two or four, but sometimes that isn’t the reality of a classroom. If you have forty students in your class you probably aren’t going to want ten teams. Groups of five or six will probably fit the situation better.
You know your classes and what they can handle. If you have a lot of students and need to make larger groups, go for it. Later, if you need to scale back to smaller groups you can. This isn’t set in stone.
What Should I Do When Cooperative Learning Review Games Don’t Work With My Students?
The biggest ugly truth of cooperative learning review games is sometimes they don’t work. It’s okay. Not everything we do in the classroom is success, but it is always a learning experience.
Check out this post on what to do when cooperative learning goes wrong.
Most of all, take a moment to reset. Don’t be afraid to gather students back up and model the process and expectations again.
How Should I Make My Student Teams?
This is going to be a wishy-washy answer, but it’s the truth:
Make students teams however you see fit! Traditionally, cooperative groups or teams are made of heterogenous learners who can support and model for one another. This is great for most situations and likely how your students are already seated if seated in teams.
Sometimes though, you have to mix it up. You might choose homogenous groups or even to allow students to choose their own teams. It really depends on what the situation calls for.
What Are Your Favorite Cooperative Learning Review Games?
Oh my goodness, there are so many!
If I had to choose my absolute favorite, it would have to be Stinky Feet, just because it is incredibly versatile and students love to play it time after time. The editable digital template makes it a breeze to play in person or through video chat.
Another of my favorites is Showdown. This review game is student-led and allows the teacher to monitor multiple groups. Check out how to play here.
My favorite partner game is Quiz Quiz Trade. This is a great review game for quick facts and answers that don’t require work to be shown, but may involve a conversation between partners. As a bonus, this strategy allows students to work with multiple partners within a short period of time.
Can I Use Technology with Cooperative Learning Review Games?
Many cooperative games, including my favorite Stinky Feet, include an element of technology.
You can include technology through the use of timers and buzzers, a ways to ask questions, or any other way you can think of. The important thing to remember her is to not include technology for technology’s sake, but instead to think about if and whether it enhances the review game and learning.
Do Students Really Like Cooperative Learning Review Games?
I have had hundred of students in my own classroom absolutely BEG me to play another game.
On top of this, I hear from other teachers All. The. Time. about their students wanting to play again and again.
You students will love them too!
Do Cooperative Learning Review Games Require A Lot Of Prep?
It depends on the game you choose.
Some games require only a set of questions and you can use ones you already have from a worksheet or assessment. You could also use a set of task cards or an app or website to provide questions.
For example, I have a whole bunch of pre-made Digital Stinky Feet Games based on topics that are ready to play.
Cooperative learning review games can be as complicated or as easy as you want them to be.
What Else Should I Know?
I really can’t overemphasize how much cooperative learning changed by classroom, and I know it can do the same for yours.
If you are looking for personal recommendations for how to begin using cooperative learning review games I would say to pick one and start there. Once you and your students get the hang of it then add another one into the rotation.
Always model the process and expectations at the beginning of an activity even if you have done it a million times before. This sets everyone up for success.
Ready To Get Started?
If you are anything like me, you are ready to jump right in and get started, and I want to help you out! Click here to download a FREE Digital Stinky Feet game to get your feet wet. (Haha, get it?!?) This one’s topic may not be for your students, but it will give you a chance to see how it works and feel confident it is right for you.