With all of the energy and restlessness that kids seem to generate each spring, and with testing right around the corner, spring can definitely be a time of challenges in the classroom! To deal with those challenges, I like the idea of actually introducing MORE challenges – in the form of team contests. It’s the perfect time to introduce any and all kinds of group contests; one that I like is an ongoing contest among teams that you can keep running and use for any topic.
Start by posting a challenge board with spaces for team names, categories, and points. Divide your class into teams of your favorite size and have each team choose a name. Fill in the team names on the challenge board. (A laminated board works great for this because you can erase and reuse it as often as you like.) Then whenever you are doing as activity that involves asking questions or completing another type of short-answer activity, make it a contest between the teams. List the name of the activity on the challenge board, and award points for first, second, third place, etc. Or award points by the number of correct answers.
You can keep the challenge going for as much or as little time as you like. Total it up at the end of a day, week, or whatever works!
Once the scores are tallied, there are a number of ways to award the prizes. (Option 3 below is my favorite!)
- Award a prize for first place, and maybe second and third as well. With this option, the students on the team that did the best get the best prizes, and some students may get no prize.
- Let each team divide up its points equally among the members and then spend their points on prizes. With this option, everyone wins something, but those from teams with more points can afford to buy the best prizes.
- Give each team tickets according to the number of points it has scored, let the team divide up the tickets equally among its members, and then have the kids enter their tickets in a raffle. This one is my favorite because everyone has a chance at the best prize right up until the end.
If you would like a copy of the challenge board shown above, click here for this blank one: Spring Team Challenge Board.
If you are looking for some new resources for your spring review activities and contests, check out these spring task cards from Classroom in the Middle’s Store (and see the new look with new, funny clip art!):
And finally, here’s the FREEBIE: