Another Wheel Invented – but it feels clever!

I hate word banks.

 (SFX: OLD MAN VOICE)

Back in my day, we didn’t have any dag-blasted, high-falooltin’ word banks.  We called ’em cheat sheets, by dingy!

I had actually never heard of such a thing until I handed out my first smallwares quiz.  I stood dumbfounded as my students explained what one was and why I was a scoundrel for not having one at hand.

Turns out, my students loooooove word banks.  They long for them like an addiction.  This semester we’ve finally come to an arrangement and it came like a bolt from the blue (or at least from the same part of my brain that the lazier parts of my emergency substitute teacher lesson plans come from):  crosswords!  I make a crossword : http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/CrissCrossSetupForm.asp (it took about 10 minutes yesterday) and all the ‘tarned word bank words are in the puzzle!  I used this for my Herb/Spice ID test yesterday and I think it was a good compromise as evidenced by the feebler groans it evoked as I handed it out. What I like about this puzzle maker is it’s super straightforward and I can use the same mnemonics I presented in class as the clues in the puzzle.  herb word bank It also avoided the probably ineffective ‘Last Minute Review’ trope as the cram-session was the puzzle.  To avoid frustration and just because I’m in favor of the skill, I allowed them to collaborate on creating their own ‘cheat sheet’.

I’m sure someone thought of this many years ago, but I’m hoping to pass it along as another Pedagogical Cruyff Turn!

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