Friday, November 9, 2012

3b: Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques with The Fast Five

     The class I teach is a New York State Biology course called "The Living Environment." At the end of the year all students need to pass the New York State exam known as the "Regents Exam". In order to get my students ready for the exam it is imperitive that they become accustomed to the types of questions that they will see on that exam. Often the Regents Exam questions are at a higher level in Bloom's Taxonomy than just simple knowledge. Often the students will be expected to apply their knowledge to articles, experiments, diagrams, etc.
     I find that if I do too many practice questions with them they don't try very hard and it takes a large chunk of time. So I've started creating what I call "Fast Fives." At least once a week my students will see a Fast Five on the table when they come into class.

They will start working on the questions immediately. The students who get to class earlier have a little more time for the fast fives than their classmates who arrive late. After everyone has completed their fast five then we go over the questions and I teach them test taking skills like highlighting the vocabulary, underlining the base question, labeling the diagrams, crossing out the incorrect answers, etc. It seems to me that 5 questions is the perfect way to get the class started. 

I use an inexpensive sign like this to hold the sign:

Click here to download a fast five from Google Drive.

this post originally appeared on

No comments:

Post a Comment