I first introduced these to my colleagues in 2011 having found the idea via TES Resources. A quick internet search tells me that there are a few Revision Races around including those in the Bits and Bobs section of the 'Number Loving' website. I have also seen these activities called Revision Relays.
However, during the last two years my colleagues and I have developed an approach to Revision Races which seems a bit different from the way other people use them. In this post, I will describe how I run a Revision Race and how this differs from what appears to be the norm.
The standard version of a Revision Race usually involves students answering a series of questions as quickly as they can. They are given an initial question and must bring the correct answer to the teacher before they are given the next question. The winner would be the student, or group of students, who answer the most questions in the allotted time. I did try running a Revision Race in this way a couple of times but I had a key concern: what should I do if a group of students got completely stuck on one question even after multiple attempts?
I believe that my adapted version of a Revision Race addresses this issue and also has a number of other added aspects which teachers may find useful.
Firstly, in my Revision Races, students have access to all of the questions right from the start. These are printed on a single piece of A4 paper, a copy of which is given to each student. (This remains far more cost effective than having lots of copies of different questions all on separate sheets of paper). Questions might focus on one particular topic area as in the example below or could be more of a mixture. The rules can vary slightly depending on the class but this format allows me to let students answer the questions in any order they wish and/or allow them to attempt to answer more than one question at a time before bringing me the answers. This can be particularly useful with a larger class when long queues of students wanting their answers marked can form all too quickly.
|An example of a Revision Race focusing on algebra.|
Secondly, students have a maximum of three attempts at each question.
Each team has an answer grid (see below) which must be completed for each question.
If an answer is incorrect, students can choose either to make another attempt or to move on to another question.
Students generally use mini-whiteboards to do their working out and, if they get really stuck, they can bring these to me for a hint or to find out where they have gone wrong.
I have also devised a scoring system for my Revision Races. If the first answer is correct, six points are scored, four points are scored if the answer is correct at the second attempt while only two points are scored if the third attempt is right. If the third attempt is incorrect, students score no points for that question and must move on to another question.
|Revision Race answer grid|
Finally, I record the all of the points on an Excel spreadsheet as they are gained during the Revision Race. This means that students are able to keep track of their progress during the lesson on a live scoreboard.
A bit of conditional formatting means that the cells of the spreadsheet change colour depending on the number of points scored. I find that this use of colour also serves as excellent Assessment for Learning for me as a teacher. For example, on the spreadsheet below, I can see that Question 4 caused lots of problems which indicates that I need to revisit this topic.
|Revision Race score board|
I have made some resources available to get you started. They are downloadable by clicking on the links below.
Revision Race score board
Revision Race answer grid
Revision Race - algebra questions
If you'd like to know more about how I use Revision Races, please let me know. And if you're using Revision Races in a different way that is really successful, I'd love to find out more from you.