I am always looking for new review games to use before a quiz or a test. This year, we have played Team-Games-Tournament (TGT) several times and have had great success with student mastery and engagement. This game is a cooperative learning strategy that is discussed further in “The Strategic Teacher” by Silver, Strong, and Perini. In their book, they explain the reasons why this strategy works with the number one reason being that “TGT incorporates the best of cooperation and competition.” Furthermore, it “highlights interdependence among group members, holds students individually accountable…promotes positive face-to-face interaction, builds small-group skills such as communication and conflict resolution, and encourages group processing so that students use their reflections to become better team members.” There is a bit of prep work on the teacher before hand to possibly reformat your review, create the playing cards, and make color-coded copies (my interns wonderful suggestion) for each role, but it proves very worthwhile. As compared to other review games that require the teacher to reteach or be the leader, this game is student centered and the teacher can now simply be a facilitator while students take ownership in playing, coaching, and teaching each other.

I typically give students a review sheet for the test the day before we are going to play the tournament. I give them some class time and/or assign the evens for homework. By only doing half, students are familiar with the material, but still need to review more the next day. The following day during the tournament, they will complete all the review questions. When they draw one they have already done they are instructed to do it again on a whiteboard (or a scratch piece of paper), whereas when they draw an odd question they should do it on the actual review. This gives them repetition of review and complete mastery of the content. The first time using this strategy, students will need the directions read to them and seen posted on the board. However, after a few rounds, the game becomes very clear and natural. I have loved watching students coach each other through the work while also competing with positive interactions.

Here are some directions that you can display for students as well as the materials for each group (I like to put them all in a baggie or envelope for each group). Let me know if you play and what you thought!

Teams Games Tournament

TGT Powerpoint 

TGT role cards (print on card stock and give one role per group)

Numbered cards (print on card stock, one set per group, with how many numbered questions there are on the review)

Reference: Silver, Harvey F., Richard W. Strong, and Matthew J. Perini. The Strategic Teacher. Alexandria: ASCD, 2007. Print.

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