AUGUST IDEA CONTEST WINNER!
Submitted: April 24, 2001
way to get students to read and comprehend their textbook information
is to play a game called "Stump the Teacher."
In preparation, give students a reading assignment-a section or
chapter, depending on the grade level. As they are reading, each
student needs to write down at least 5 questions to "stump
the teacher" along with their respective answers. The following
guidelines are helpful:
1. The answer to the question must be found in the reading material
2. A fair question is about content...a question you might expect
to find on a quiz. (In other words, not "What is the first
word in the second paragraph of the third page?")
I suggest to my class to read over the assigned material more
than once, not only to come up with questions for me, but to anticipate
questions that I might ask them. Teacher preparation involves
creating a quiz with about 10 questions that cover the main ideas
from the material that you want students to know. Questions may
be true/false, short answer, multiple choice, or fill in the blank.
The next day, we play the game. Each of my students names are
on a popsicle stick. When I draw their name, they get to ask me
one of their questions. If I get the answer right, I get a point
for the teacher. If I get it wrong, the class earns a point. (Depending
on how close the game is, sometimes I will miss a question on
purpose to keep the game interesting.) Then I ask the same student
a question from the quiz. If they get the answer correct, they
earn a point for the class. If they don't know the answer or get
it wrong, they earn a point for the teacher. Each student gets
at least one turn. Though only one student is participating at
a time, their incentive to listen is that often the quiz questions
will be repeated. At the end of the game if the teacher has the
most points, the class has to take the quiz. If the class has
the most points, they each get the total points for the quiz recorded
in the grade book without actually taking the quiz.
Students really like this game. The best part about it though,
is that they still end up learning the material, often better
than if they had just studied for a standard quiz. Plus they learn
good study skills such as anticipating how they will be tested
on the material as they read.
Depending on the length of the reading assignment, I sometimes
let the students use their books to look up the answers to my
questions within a certain time limit. With some instruction this
helps them learn how to quickly scan and use section headings
as clues to where the answer might be found. However to be fair,
I as the teacher don't get to use the book during the game. Beware
though, you will need to study...students are get very good at
"stumping the teacher."