Sometimes getting students to remember our lesson objectives can be as magical as a Harry Potter spell!


But SPARK U grad (’15) Krista Anderson has come up with something that is pretty close. For a unit test review she had a gallery walk of “Harry Potter” math problems. Students were to solve each problem, and then based on the answer proceed to the next “Harry Potter” station. Students worked from Dobby’s Corner around to Dumbledore, onto Malfoy’s Team, etc. This gave the students much needed movement, a novel way of solving math problems, and an opportunity to work with others.


Krista Anderson (’15) gives feedback during Harry Potter Review

SPARK U graduate (’12) Jennifer Carrillo also used math stations for her mid-term review of Algebra I. Jennifer organized her students in teams of four and then placed a set of problems into folders at six stations. Each station had a six minute time limit, and the students had a set of problems that EACH of them had to solve. The students were expected to communicate and explain their thinking on each problem. When all members of the team had solved the problem, there was an envelope with the correct answers.

Why were these reviews effective?

First — ALL students were held accountable for the learning. The envelopes or folders provided the knowledge of results (motivation), and the students had to explain how they got their answers.

Second — The gallery walk and station rotation provided an opportunity to walk and get needed oxygen to the brain.

Third — The activities allowed the teachers to give some help to re-teaching a few students who needed extra support. But the kiddos were doing all of the work!

Remember, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent!”

As we enter the season of final exams and large reviews, what novel ways have you found to spiral the learning so the kiddos won’t forget?

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