I think my blog is turning into a Triptico sales pitch, only Triptico's application is free. The application was recently updated to include their "Choose 10" activity. I hadn't used this before but it looked like it would be a promising activity.
The concept is simple. There are 15 squares on the board, 10 have accurate information, 5 are incorrect. The students were given a grid of 15 boxes and had to volunteer to come to the front of the board to choose a correct answer. Like always, I had students manipulating the board using a wiimote iwb that gets them up and out of their seats.
I was absolutely amazed by the number of students who wanted to participated, come up in front of the entire class and demonstrate their background knowledge. I asked one class why they were so willing to participated, here are the responses.
"It allowed me to show the class what I know."
"Getting up out of my seat, it made me pay closer attention."
"The class never got boring, I could get up to show off, and I wanted to see what other kids would pick."
Simply revealing correct facts doesn't really get to the higher level thinking that I want my students to demonstrate in class. Therefore, in addition to the "Choose 10" activity I had students write thesis statements after each choose 10 was complete. We started with Christopher Columbus Choose 10, then wrote a thesis statement about Columbus. The same process continued for Cortes, Magellan & Pizarro.
The thesis statements that the students developed were outstanding. They again told me that by physically reviewing the material, they were able to better incorporate the ideas into well developed thesis statements.
Again, if you haven't looked into the Triptico application, I can't recommend it enough!