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How to Optimize Jeopardy Review Games

The number one rule of test prep in my opinion is it has to be engaging! Most people are familiar with Jeopardy games, where there are different categories and questions get increasingly more challenging as they increase in point value. So how can we tailor a Jeopardy game to the classroom? Keep reading to find out!

1. Everyone Answers

First of all, in my classroom everyone needs to answer the questions. You can let students or teams take turns choosing the category and point value, but then have everyone solve the problem. This also means that everyone has the opportunity to earn points. With math problems, I have my kids show their work on whiteboards. Then I can walk around and see who understands and what misconceptions students may have.

2. Keep Track of Time

You can play the game in 20 minute chunks (take pictures of which questions you already used like the photo above), or create time limits per question. I gave my third graders 1 minute for 100 point questions, 2 minutes for 200 point questions, etc. If everyone was done before the timer went off, we checked answers early and moved on. No matter how engaging an activity is, students will get bored and tired after too long. Don't be afraid to stretch a game over more than one sitting!

3. Use Teams and Partners

Collaboration is great if students are actually working together. You can assign different roles to members within the team, or have all team members solve the problem first and then compare answers. Check out the video below as an example of ways to assign roles within a group! I recommend groups no larger than 3 people when it comes to Jeopardy games. Elementary students can have a hard time communicating and gaining consensus.

4. Focus on One Category

Since each Jeopardy category has five questions, one category could take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Instead of bopping around the game board, consider focusing on one category for a focused test review. If you think everyone will end with the same number of points, consider offering bonus points to mix it up (see next step!).

5. Give Bonus Points

Offer bonus points - teacher discretion - for showing more than one solution or strategy. This would be especially pertinent in when reviewing word problems, addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. You can give a flat number OR make it extra creative by giving students stickers, coins, or mini erasers. At the end of the game, reveal the point value of each item. For example, with the erasers below, the hippo could equal 10 points, the giraffe 25 points, the zebra 50 points, the tiger 75 points, and the panda 100 points. Your kids will get a kick out of the element of surprise!

Mini erasers of jungle animals: hippo, zebra, elephant, tiger, and giraffe

Are you ready to jump on the Jeopardy review train? If so, make sure to check out my math review games on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Jeopardy math review games on Teachers Pay Teachers

Do you have any teacher hacks for playing Jeopardy? What are your favorite test review games? I'd love to hear from you!

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