Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Back-to-Back Assessment Game... My favorite!

Want a quick, easy, and fun way to trick your students into learning assess a skill? You've gotta play "Back-to-Back"!

Check out this not-high-quality video that I shot with T and C after school today (thanks T and C's moms!)...  It's a little wobbly!  Next time I'll use my camera and not my phone!

I was chewing gum and didn't even realize how awful it sounded but after numerous re-starts of the taping due to interruptions and giggles, the boys would have never forgiven me if I had made them do this over one more time!  So, sorry if I sound gross!  Also, I'm going through that "Ewww!  Is that how my voice sounds?!" thing right now.  Ewww!

I've never videoed anything for my blog before, so hopefully this works out!

I love this game and we do it weekly to practice tons of skills.  I can quickly look around the room and see who is getting answers right and who is struggling and it gets my kiddos up and moving.

I use it often during Daily Five as I have amassed a large collection of task cards that I didn't know what to do with.  I can read them orally, provide the choices, and then use this game to review the grammar skills and comprehension skills we practice during language arts.

Here are the basics of the directions for the game if the video wasn't clear...

*Choose your questions.
*Have students get back-to-back with a partner (say "Back-to-back!")
*Read the question.
*Students will choose their answer- sign language letters, thumbs up/down, show a card (ie. periods vs. question marks- you'd read a sentence and have the students show the correct end mark), etc...
*Be sure they cover up their answer with their free hand!
*Say "Turn around and show your partner".
*Same answer, 1 high five.
*Reveal the answer.
*Students give a double high five if they got it right.
*Say "Back-to-back!" and let the fun continue!
*At the end, I always have my students thank their partners!

Here are some of the ways I use this:
*with my huge mountain of task cards and students either write answers on a dry erase board or use sign language (like in the video) to hold up their choice of answer... we do this A LOT!
*math flash cards (students write answers on a dry erase board)
*true/false (thumbs up or down)
*syllables (show the correct number of fingers for the syllables)
*punctuation marks (would require the kids to have some sort of paper with the choices on it)

Patty at 2nd in Line shared some spelling cards the other day.  I was thinking these would be great for "Back-to-Back".  You could print them, display them on your document camera, and then students could hold up their sign language letter to match their choice!  Then just put up the next card! 

I hope this was helpful- if you have any other ideas on how to use this, I'd love for you to share them!  Hopefully I was clear (yeah- as mud!) with how this works in my classroom.  It's a super quick game to implement and works really well in a pinch.  I taught the game to my mixed group of K, 1, and 2 students during our reading interventions time today in about 2 minutes and then read them task cards to practice predicting outcomes.  It went well!

So, anyway, let me know what you think!

PS- my students were AMAZING while our Daily Five visitor was in today!  My kiddos always do a great job during Daily Five, as they love that time of the day so much... but I was one proud teacher!

Adding this pic to make this post PINNABLE!!!  This IS NOT the video... check out the video above to see us playing the game!


  1. Awesome video! I understand the moving around with the camera and the gum chewing... not a big deal. The boys did a great job demonstrating the activity! Thank you so much for sharing and have the guts to post it. You three did a great job and I will taking this game back to my classroom to try it with my first graders! Nice work!

  2. What a great idea! I think I'll do this tomorrow to review for our Social Studies test. Thanks for sharing!

    Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

  3. Very cute. Nice easy, quick, and engaging. Thanks for the idea- I always love creative ways of assessing!

    The Second Grade Superkids

  4. LOVE THIS IDEA! I could totally use this in my classroom. My kids would love, love, love this. I could even do this with fast facts on white boards. There are so many different possibilities. You just made my day!!!

    Thanks for sharing. -Lyndsey

    A Year of Many Firsts

  5. Love, love, love this idea! Thanks so much for posting the video so us visual learners can get the jist of the game!! The possibilites are endless! I love how it meets my kinesthetic (spelling? long day!) learners as well as auditory and visual!! Didn't even notice the gum chewing! Thanks all three of you! Can't wait to use this tomorrow!!

  6. Love this idea. Reminds me of whole brain teaching in some ways. Everyone is doing something :) Thanks for sharing!

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  7. Love this game!! :)
    I knew your visitor would be impressed!!!!!!!!!!! :)
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  8. Christina:
    What a great idea! I love how the boys looked so proud to be the models.
    Thanks for sharing...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  9. I just love this! Can't wait to try it out! We have educational consultants coming through once a month to see what we're up too. They like to see us check for understanding (already do!) every 30 seconds (oh, please- insert check for understanding here), that's just too much (uh-oh, time to do it again). I use individual white boards and some hand signals but my students would LOVE this! Thanks for sharing. You're guys did a great job!
     Chrissy

    First Grade Found Me

  10. I wanted to add that I posted about your video and idea because I liked it so much. Hope you don't mind.
     Chrissy

    First Grade Found Me

  11. I have always used the sign language a,b,c,d for MEAP test review. I put up the question on my elmo and then I have the kids show me their answer. This would be great for them to do as a "back to back" I love the high fives. It really would get the kids enthused.

  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!
    Thanks so much for sharing and kudos to your friends for helping your filming :)
    Swamp Frog First Graders

  13. Yay! Thanks for sharing your video. This is a great idea!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  14. Of course your Daily 5 visitors were impressed! I LOVE this idea! Gets the kids moving and practices listening skills! Please tell the boys they did a wonderful job! The gum smacking made it feel more personal, like you were a friend just down the hall. :-)
    Finally in First

  15. LOVE THIS!! Thanks for sharing---and your video was perfect! :)

    First Grade and Fabulous

  16. thanks for sharing, okay maybe i am really slow but who was your visitor.mary at

  17. Played it today with my second graders to review for a test. They loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Hey I loved your video and can't wait to try this with my classes. By the way I didn't hear your gum. thought you sounded great.

  19. Tell the boys THANKS! They rocked it! Tell the narratore (wink) she made the content very clear and has a lovely narrating voice!

  20. I like this because it practices the auditory portion that our district assessment(MAP)has so much of. I follow you on facebook and your blog- how is it that I just saw this idea?? Strange!

  21. Great idea...I like the sign language. Will be getting reading for Ohio OAAs and this would be a wonderful way to review and get a quick assessment. Like the idea of having to listen, as well.

  22. oooohh oooooh! I love this. Thanks for sharing and your voice does NOT sound bad!

  23. Sorry this is 2 years after your post... I tried this activity in my classroom and the students enjoyed themselves. We used it to share opinions, and then shared the reasons to support our opinions with the partners. It was a great activity, and I have added it to my "bag of tricks" to get kids learning! I have a blog with activities for ELLs. It is mostly just for my district, but I shared this activity on the blog. ( I hope that is ok... I linked back to this page! Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...