Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Hollow Square Quiz - A Fun Way to Revise

The "Hollow Square Quiz" is a creation of mine designed to use the quiz as a device to:

revise topics prior to exam/test and
introduce a new topic by revising prerequisite material.
Initially, it concentrates on the basic skills. Later, the questions may become more difficult or delve into the problem solving area.

Because of the way it is organised, it becomes a fun way to revise or introduce a new topic. More importantly, every student can remain totally involved right up to the end of the quiz in an effort to become the final winner.

This is how I organise the quiz.

Teacher sits at/on the front desk.

All students stand around the walls of the room in front of the teacher forming a hollow square. (You might need to check the placement of students to ensure a disciplined environment).

Explain the rules below:

The quiz proceeds clockwise or anticlockwise.

All students must be quiet with no discussion on questions. Penalty: the student sits down and is out of the quiz temporarily.

A question is asked. If the answer is wrong, the student sits down. The next student is asked. If he/she is correct, the next student is asked a new question. If the answer is wrong, the student sits down. If three students get it wrong, the students sitting down get a chance to answer. If correct, they stand up in the space left by the incorrect students. If no one can answer the question, the teacher explains the answer. Then the quiz begins again.

The students are warned that questions may be re-asked either in the same form or a different form especially those which have not been answered.

Students sitting down must not talk either. If they do, they will not be asked questions to return to the quiz.

The winner is the last remaining student who has answered his/her question.
Here is how you keep all the class in the quiz right to the 'bitter end'.

If the last question results in the last one, two or three people failing to answer it, i.e. no one is left standing, everyone sitting down gets the opportunity to win the quiz by answering the final question first. (This is where the teacher can 'manufacture' a desirable result. By that I mean the teacher can select who they want to win to increase that student's confidence. There are often enough clues given by the last students to almost guarantee your selection 'wins'.)

Below is some advice on how to proceed to make this a valuable learning experience.

Don't repeat questions unless you make an error. This will help develop concentration and listening skills in your students.

The second and third students may get the answer because of the clues given by the previous student. That's OK because they have been concentrating on what answers have been suggested.

When you catch students out by asking the same question some time later, make sure you make the point that you've caught them.

Make sure you catch the first person speaking/talking and sit them down immediately. Talkers distract others and prevent total concentration and the ability of students to hear the questions and the suggested answers, thus keeping them out of the 'game'.

Give students no more than 10 seconds to answer. If an answer is partly right, you may ask for more information/explanation.

I often made up questions as I went or on finding a deficiency in my class's learning. Alternatively, I might ask the same question again but in a different way to test out their understanding or concentration/remembering skills.
This type of quiz has the following positives for me as the teacher.

Help develop listening skills
Involve all students in the re-learning process
Are fun and quick and easy to organise
Allow the opportunity, occasionally, for the 'winner' of the quiz to be 'manufactured' to build a student's confidence
Enhance self-discipline, listening skills and concentration

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