Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spark Student Motivation:SHOWDOWN!

It's S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y!!!

I hope you had a great week! We have our state testing next week, so we've been doing lots of review! ! I try to change up our review as much as possible to keep it fun and interesting!
But, I have to make sure that ALL students are engaged, so I want to share a simple Kagan structure I use called
We had Kagan training last year and it's one of the best trainings to increase engagement and to ensure all students are participating & learning. I put a little spin on this structure to fit my needs.
Showdown, the outcome is active engagement for every student! In Showdown, each student does each problem on their own before receiving help. When “Showdown!” is called (by their team captain or myself), each student shows their work, and they begin the process of checking, coaching, and celebrating.

If you follow my blog, you know I always allow "doodle time" for one minute before we start our lesson to get it out of their systems.
I have SHOWDOWN for doodle time too! :)

I like to keep them guessing of when and who I will call for "Showdown". This is "Whole Class Showdown":
Sometimes I pull sticks for an "Individual Showdown": 
The other students share at their groups and coach if necessary. I love hearing the conversations between my students of "how" they arrived at their answers and their justifications for their thinking!

 And, other times I call a specific "group(s), girls, boys, students with 2 syllables in their first name, etc. Showdown". Just a simple thing like this keeps them focused and on their toes!
Guess what?? "Showdown" works at home too! I had a mini-review for the 4th graders in my neighborhood for testing next week. Of course, my 4th grade son didn't think this was going to be fun, but he loved it too!
It was about almost an hour and they were disappointed when it was over, which equals a score for the teacher neighborhood mom! :)

  In Showdown, no student can slip through the cracks. Everyone has to participate and work together. It's a quick assessment tool for me and excites my students! It's an opportunity for me to assist other students while some of my "experts" coach their group members. It build trust and community in my classroom, we use our strengths to our advantage.

*If you don't have dry erase boards you can use a piece of paper or cardstock in a page protector sheet. It works great and students can keep them in their desk to take out in seconds.

I hope you had a wonderful week! Please link up any lessons, ideas, tips, tricks, incentives, ANYTHING you do get your students motivated or excited!
Don't forget to grab my button and link back to this post!
Check out all the wonderful ideas from my friends who link up and don't forget to leave some love by commenting....we LOVE comments!
***Please include the topic in the link up with your blog name.


  1. I love your dry erase boards and I love this activity. I think I may just enjoy shouting SHOWDOWN. I do love when the kids get to mentor and support each other - great way to build community and learn. Have a great weekend.

  2. We really are too much alike! With my 5th graders yesterday we did FCAT review with dry erase boards during math. After reading your post this morning, I realized that I was doing my own version of Showdown too. Since I did not even remember this structure from Kagan training last year, we came up with "Reveal!" Then I said we need to think of something better so then it became a synonym game to come up with words that meant the same. My students came up with expose, display, and feature. But I really love "Showdown" so I'm going to use that next week. Thanks for sharing your ideas! ❤️

  3. I have only done a little bit of Kagan training, but what I have learned, I enjoy doing in the classroom. Your kids are doing an awesome job at Showdown in your pics. I'm giggling over you teaching the neighborhood kids on your time off. This just confirmed that you never sleep! I can't WAIT for FCAT to be OVER!!!!!! XO
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  4. My kids LOVE Showdown! I don't know how people teach without using it? :)


  5. I love you did this with your neighborhood kids! SUPER MOM and SUPER TEACHER!!!!

    Hodges Herald

  6. Love Kagan! I used Showdown as well this week! I need to become more proficient at taking pictures during the school day. I also want to make a class set of those boards this summer! My summer list of things I want to accomplish for next year keeps growing....


  7. You are so awesome! What a great neighbor you are, too!! :o) And you even COOKED for the kids too, I see!! ;-)

  8. I'd love to see showdown in a video (I'm a visual learner) because it sounds great!

  9. I remember a post you did a while back about making these boards with the cute duct tape. I use boring ol' white boards for this, and instead of saying SHOWDOWN I just count 1, 2, 3... I think I need to start yelling SHOWDOWN. For sure, need to do that! So much more fun! My kids barely even wait for 3 anymore. I barely get 1 out of my mouth and their boards are up! I also kind of want to add duct tape around my white boards.. with a Hollywood theme of course! ;)

    Ps.. I'm a day late linking up, but yesterday it was so gorgeous I just couldn't stay inside!

    The 4th Grade Journey

  10. This is awesome, Joanne! I've never used Showdown but obviously need to. It doesn't surprise me either that you hosted a review night with the neighborhood kids! You are one super mom and teacher!! :) Love!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

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