So next week is standardized testing, and all the 7th grade teachers are doing worksheets. Anyone have ideas to make it a little more interesting? Today I was giving out small pieces of candy for each section completed correctly, but it got to be difficult to be checking everyone's answers when they all finished at near the same time. Any other ideas?

There's a number of worksheets that are fun, most are puzzles or games of some sort where you have to figure out the answers to solve it. Of course, they will work a few of the problems and try to jump to the answer.....but I would do the same. Message me if you want the names of the books I use, I'm at home and don't know them off the top of my head. Another option is a team play game that I run. I use clickers heavily so it's easy for me, but you can do it with white boards too. Each row of seats in my room is a team. I put up a problem for all of them to solve without helping each other. The designated seat in their team has 1st shot. If they get it right, the team gets 10 points. If they get it wrong, we check the rest of the team's answers. Each correct answer is worth 1 recovery point. Giving answers to others is a -10 points for your team. Highest score gets candy bars and 2nd gets small suckers.

Here's what I did last week: I made up a "monster problem" on circles: one problem with 20 parts they had to find. I told them they could work together or apart, use textbooks or notebooks or any other resource they could find. Then I closed the door and let them work. First thing next period, I asked for a consensus on the answers and called it a quiz grade. All 3 geometry classes got a perfect score. They had such fun! They worked together well, and stayed on task. One kid announced at the end of class that everyone should be on Facebook that night to finish it up.

Alice, would you be willing to post that on our Google Docs page or privately email it to me so that I can post it? It sounds like an awesome assignment.

We use to have a teacher that did Round Robin paper. You each would start a paper, then pass it to the left for the next person to do the problem. Before you could do your problem, you had to check the previous problem. We loved doing that. Then the teacher would randomly pick one paper and grade for everyone. If we missed several, she would put them on the board for homework and you could redo them for bonus.

Mrachelle87 - This sounds like a great idea, but I'm not sure I quite understand how it works - I'm having a brain dead day! I'd love to use it! Could you elaborate for me?

Well, we would all start with a paper. If there were 20 students, she would have us do 20 problems. Then you only do the first and pass the paper to the right. As the paper worked around the room, every problem was done by one person only, but then it was checked by the next person. After all the problems were done, the teacher would collect them all and pull out one. That was the one she graded.

for example. I would start with problem 1. After doing that problem, I would hand it to next person. Then I would take the person next to me paper. I would check their work and do the next problem. I think if we had 20 kids she placed 21 problems, so basically we all did the problems, but only one of our problems counted for each page.

Thanks for the replies! mrachelle87: What do the OTHER students do when it isn't there turn to have the problem paper? Do you just have 1 page of 20 problems circulating around? It sounds like a really cool idea! Caesar753: I worry when I do an activity like yours that some students end up doing all the work. How do you avoid that? Again, thanks for the responses and keep 'em coming!

Do you mean me? I let them work on it in class, and kept circulating. Anyone who wasn't working would have gotten a 0 as a quiz grade. And if they were tempted to take Pete's or Kristen's answers simply because they're smart, I warned them that even Pete and Kristen have been known to make calculation errors-- they needed to ensure that the class answers were the right ones.

everyone has their own paper and each one starts on a different number. Then she drew from the stack to see which one she graded.

worksheets more fun... 1. do them in groups (no solo activities) 2. students devise worksheets for each other 3. Make paper aeroplanes

One thing that I've done once or twice that has been pretty successful is something I call 'timed ladders'. I don't have a better name for it but I'm sure that you creative types can come up with one. I make a worksheet with cloze-type questions based on the text or notes. Some questions have one fill-in-the-blank, others have two or more. Students work in groups of 3-4 and they have to answer all the questions on the worksheet. The first group done wins, and I try to have prizes around for them. Sounds easy, yes? It is, except.... They have to answer the questions in order, from top to bottom, and only one student can answer at a time. There's no consultation. One student starts with the worksheet and attempts to answer the first question. If he does, then he passes the worksheet along to the next student, who attempts to answer the next question, and so on. If a student can't answer the question, the paper gets passed along around the circle until a student can answer the question. Does that make sense? I allow students to use their notes or the text, but I warn them that looking up a lot of answers eats up a lot of time. The students really love the speed factor and can get pretty frantic about winning.