teaching exchange...
Download this teaching method and its components to your desktop computer. You can save these files to your desktop computer, then edit them, print them, or sync them to your handheld to use in the classroom!

Your handheld can automatically convert Word or Excel files into Pocket versions. See Mindsurf Networks Handhelp for further downloading or syncing instructions.

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Practice Makes Perfect

Looking for a new way to liven up your reviews at the end of a unit? Try one of these Mindsurf Methods to help students ace their next big test in your class. You can download a sample of each method to see it in action, and then download the template to modify for your own classroom needs.

Grade Level(s)

Standards Connections
National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Teachers (International Society for Technology in Education), Standard V. Productivity and Professional Practice/C. Apply technology to increase productivity.

Mindsurf Methods
Twenty Questions
Inductive Reasoning
Round Robins Review

Mindsurf Method 1: Twenty Questions
Materials: Twenty Questions Sample and Template (see file downloads)

This Pocket Excel document keeps track of student's scores as they answer a twenty-question review. Download the Twenty Questions Sample and try taking the trivia quiz. You earn five points automatically for each correct answer, and your total score is tallied at the bottom of the list of questions as you go. Here's how you can use the Twenty Questions Template to build your own reviews in Pocket Excel:
  1. Download the Twenty Questions Template.
  2. Open the document, and save the file under a new name.
  3. Tap inside the first question cell (in column B) and enter your question.
  4. Scroll across to column E, and enter your answer.
  5. Continue entering your questions and answers until you are finished.
  6. Tap on the first answer you entered in column E and drag down to highlight all your answers.
  7. Go to Format>Cells, and select the Font tab. Using the pull-down menu, change the text color to white so that your answers disappear. You can also resize the width of column E to make it disappear from view by selecting the line on the gray bar next to the letter E so that a double-sided arrow appears. Then simply drag it to narrow the width of the column.
  8. The spreadsheet has been configured to compare the answer that students enter in the Answer column to your hidden answer in column E. If they are exactly alike, the value in the point column will change to five and the score at the bottom of the spreadsheet will increase.

This method is a fun way to review before a quiz or test, but remember that your answers, though invisible, are still included in the spreadsheet so it is not a good idea to use this method to create actual tests.
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Mindsurf Method 2: Inductive Reasoning
Materials: Inductive Reasoning Sample and Template (see file downloads)

Inductive reasoning is the process of examining elements of a group to form an observation about the entire group. This Pocket Excel activity asks students to group terms into categories to help them understand individual concepts and their relation to each other. Try downloading the Inductive Reasoning Sample to see this activity in action, and then follow these instructions to create your own.
  1. Download the Inductive Reasoning Template.
  2. Save the spreadsheet under a new name.
  3. Enter your terms and concepts on the first sheet, using columns A and B.
  4. You may want to name some of the categories to help students get started. To change the name of a sheet in Pocket Excel, go to Format>Modify Sheet>Rename. Or, if you prefer, let students devise their own categories. You may also want to list a few subcategories on a particular sheet (for example, in the sample activity, the Africa sheet lists mountains, rivers, and plains).
  5. Save your file when you are finished, and beam or email it to students when you are ready for them to review terms and concepts they have learned in class.
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Mindsurf Method 3: Round Robins Review
Materials: Round Robins Sample and Template (see file downloads)

Use this activity to help students prepare for an essay test. Using Pocket Word, groups of students brainstorm ideas and examples for various essay topics. Everyone will leave class with study guides containing the group's ideas for each essay topic. Download the Round Robins Sample to see what a student brainstorm would look like, and then follow these guidelines to try the activity in your classroom.
  1. Download the Round Robins Template.
  2. Open the Pocket Word file, enter an essay topic, and then save the file with a unique name. Repeat this process for each of your essay topics.
  3. Divide students into groups so that each student in the group will have a unique essay topic. For example, if there are three essay topics, divide students into groups of three.
  4. Beam a different essay topic to each student in the group and go over the instructions on the electronic handout with the entire class.
  5. Have students begin brainstorming ideas for the essay topic they received on their own device. Allow them about five minutes to type up their ideas.
  6. Ask students to rotate to another handheld computer within their group. They should read the new essay topic, and then begin adding their own ideas to the list.
  7. Continue this process until students have had the opportunity to add their ideas to each essay topic in their group.
  8. Group members should then discuss each essay, making sure that everyone understands all the ideas and examples listed. Students should add any new ideas they think of during their group discussion to their lists.
  9. Have students save the list of ideas that is on their own handheld computer and then beam it to the other members of their group. Students will have a copy of their group's ideas for each essay topic when they leave class.
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