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Math Review Strategies: Review 2000

For many of us, the second semester of the school year is filled with those dreaded “drill and kill” worksheets and math review activities to help students prepare for end-of-the-year tests and state assessments. It can be a tough time of year as students, and teachers, begin feeling anxious about “the test.”

Well . . . I’m here to tell you the second semester doesn’t have to be boring and full of practice worksheets. It can, and should, be an exciting time filled with motivation, encouragement, and opportunities for students to show what they know. With this goal in mind, I’m sharing one of my most successful math review strategies with you– Review 2000!

Watch the video or read the transcript below!

Getting Started with Review 2000

This is a picture of Review 2000 in use!

What is Review 2000?

I actually first learned about this strategy a few years ago at a summer math conference. It’s an engaging and motivating way to review for big assessments, like state tests. The “2000” part of the title refers to the number of questions students are expected to answer correctly in order to earn the grand prize. This strategy is always a hit with my students, including both elementary and middle school students. 

Components of Review 2000

The visual itself is pretty simple. All you need is a class graph or large classroom thermometer, labels for the graph, rewards, and a title. The only other component you need is a spiral review– more on that later.

Create the Review 2000 Visual

To set up the program, I create a large thermometer on chart paper and calibrate it in fifties or hundreds. On the other side of the thermometer, I set goals for the students. Each reward is listed next to the number of questions the class needs to answer correctly to earn the reward. I then display the thermometer and rewards on a bulletin board so the students can watch the total grow each day.

Type of Questions Needed

I like to use a spiral review for my Review 2000 questions. For me, I like something that has 5 – 6 questions that are similar to the ones on the state-assessment and that cover a broad-range of state-specific standards.

The Daily Routine

  1. When the school day begins, students get 10 – 20 minutes to complete the questions.
  2. During our math block, we review the answers. I typically do this by having the students present their work and solution to the class using the document camera. Not only does this allow the students to show what they know, but I can see very quickly what I need to continue to review. Also, when we begin the review of the questions, I require that all pencils be put away and remain out of sight. We use colored pencils to grade and make corrections.
  3. When we have finished reviewing all of the questions, I ask the students to total the number of questions they answered correctly and record the number correct at the top of the page. The students then submit their sheet for the day so that I can review the mistakes.
  4. I track and record individual student data on a data collection chart and then total the number of correct responses, or points, for the class. At the end of each day, I color-in the thermometer to show the new total.
  5. Once the students earn a reward, I make every effort to reward them on the next school day so we do not lose momentum. 

Adjusting the Goal

While I always base our original goal on the number of days we have available to review before test day, we all know things happen. Sometimes we end up with days where we can’t work on the review and get behind. Other times, the students are not answering the questions as well as expected. In either case, I readjust the point total and the rewards because I want the students to earn the rewards. In fact, I always block off the day after the test well in advance for the movie and popcorn!

There are two ways to adjust the goal. First, you can change the name of the activity to Review 1000 and motivate the students to answer 1,000 questions correctly. Second, instead of changing the name, you can assign a point-value to each correctly answered question so that students can earn all 2,000 points.

The Data Collection Tool

This is the data tracking tool I use to track student progress during the math review.

The data tracking tool is a spreadsheet. To use the data tracking chart, I write my students’ names in the first column. Then, after each day’s review of the questions, I record the number of questions each student answered correctly next to their name in the correct day’s column. Afterwerdas, I total the day’s questions at the bottom of the chart.

The chart is useful not only for tracking students’ daily progress, but it gives me an overall view of how students are doing. For example, I can look across the chart to check the progress of my low-performing students. When I see they have mostly 4s, I feel good about the progress they are making and their ability to get a passing score on our state test.

Next Steps for the Math Review

So, what next? Time to get started with your math review! You can certainly create your own visuals; however, if you’re short on time, which we all are, I’ve created a free resource for you with all of the pieces you need to create the visual in the picture above– minus the border, of course. You can download the pack using the form in the blog post.

Want to learn more math review strategies? Check out “Six Tips for a Successful Math Review.”

Sound Off!

Share your favorite math review strategies in the comments section below.

Shametria Routt Banks

Shametria Routt Banks

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