As we get ready for state testing in the spring, I’m always looking for test prep and study ideas that aren’t worksheets or a standard question/answer game. One review strategy that I’ve used over and over in many content areas is having students prepare and share reciprocal teaching presentations. Here’s how that works in my classroom:
I prepare a list of topics that we need to review and group students in pairs or threes. Each team chooses one topic from my list. The students use classroom resources like textbooks, study guides, old worksheets, and even the state standards documents to become expert teachers about their topic. Sometimes, I even give each group a list of essential ideas and key vocabulary that they must include in their presentation.
I give students several choices of how to present their material, including making a poster, writing a script for a skit or podcast, creating a diorama, or preparing a slideshow presentation. Here’s a Google Slides template that I created as a starting point for students who want to create a digital presentation. Feel free to edit the template to meet the needs in your classroom before sharing it with your students!
To keep the rest of the class engaged during the presentations, I ask every group to end with three review questions to check for understanding and recall. The students in the audience write down their answers along with feedback about the presentation. Each group collects the responses and “grades” students’ answers while reading the peer feedback.
My students have really enjoyed the opportunity to take over the role of teacher with these reciprocal teaching test review presentations, and we are able to cover a wide range of content in a relatively short period of time. Using this test prep strategy in conjunction with other review activities keeps students engaged and appeals to many different learning styles.
Need more test prep strategies? Check out these other great ideas for your upper elementary students!
Reciprocal Teaching Presentations Test Prep // Elementary Inquiry
The Power of Active Reading as a Test Prep Strategy // Think Grow Giggle
Sorting Reading Test Question Stems // Tarheelstate Teacher
Test Prep Boot Camp // Tried and True Teaching Tools
Making Test Prep More Enjoyable // Kerry Tracy
Preparing Students for Testing // The Owl Teacher
Test Prep Twist: Decoding Prep for Your Struggling Readers // Reading by Heart