Category Archives: Toolkit

TOOLKIT #2 – Reviewing learning

The following ideas for starting a lesson arrived in the DHSB Teaching pink post box this week. If you want to add any more please leave a comment:


’Bounce, Pounce’ – Using higher order questioning (Bloom’s) to bounce questions from one student or group of students to others to review what they have learnt.

Student led review’ – Empowering students to take the lead in this see our recent Lazy teacher post.

‘Random name picker’ – Randomly selecting a student or small groups of students to answer specific questions related to the learning objectives of the lesson. There are many examples out there such as the hat or the famous Fruit Machine.

‘Headlines’ – Get students to create 3 headlines that could be featured in a newspaper to review what they have learnt this lesson.

‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ – Students have to write 3 multiple choice questions related to the learning objectives, these can then be shared or used as a starter for the next lesson.

‘Self Assess’ – After completing a piece of writing or an answer to a question, students are given a mark scheme or success criteria and they use highlighters to self assess and check their own progress. This could then be combined with peer assessment.

‘Word games’ – You can use games like word association to link to the learning objectives of the lesson and to review the learning.

‘Mini Whiteboard’s’ – The teacher or other students ask questions related to the learning objectives that can be completed and shown on the whiteboard, a good way to assess the whole class quickly.

‘1 min challenge’ – Students have to sum up what they have learnt during the lesson in just 60 seconds.

‘Aide memoirs’ – Students devise their own ideas/mnemonics e.g. picture/visual clues to the meaning of key words.

‘Answer hunt’ – Questions with alternative answers posted around the walls and students go to the answer they think is correct and explain why.

‘Bingo’ – Using keywords or key phrases from the lesson to play a game of Bingo.

‘Charades/Pictionary’ – Get students to act out themes, keywords or draw them for other students to guess as a way of reviewing the learning.

‘Call my bluff’ – Give out unfamiliar or new terms linked to the prior learning of the current lesson and give students option of the correct answers or terms and they then need to work out the right answer.

‘Hot seating/Speed dating’ – Students work through a series of questions/answers or activities but regularly swap partners.


Toolkit #1 – 15 Engaging Starters

The following ideas for starting a lesson arrived in the DHSB Teaching pink post box this week. If you want to add any more please leave a comment:


‘Sketcha Pic’ – Students complete a timed sketch for 30 seconds to 1 minute from a photograph then they have to annotate the features or characteristics, a great way in any subject to generate ideas and thoughts at the start of a new topic or lesson.

‘Thunks’ – This originates from Ian Gilbert of Independent Thinking it basically is approaching a different way of asking a simple question for example using twitter as inspiration ask the question in just 140 characters sum up the theory of relativity.

‘Traffic Lights’ – Start the lesson with a focus on literacy in any subject by playing a key word game using the traffic lights in your school planner.

‘Praise’ – Start your lesson by drawing on the excellent achievements of the previous lesson, praising behaviour and attitudes etc to raise the expectations for this lesson whilst reviewing the prior learning and connecting it to the new lesson.

‘Word Wheel’ – Another great strategy to also help reinforce literacy, using the key words for the lesson in a word wheel and getting the students to discuss them or apply them.

‘Hang man’ – The gruesome yet effective way of ‘hooking’ students in to try to identify the title’ or learning objectives through play.

‘Taboo’ – A great engaging way to get students in small groups or as a whole class to guess the key words or the theme for the lesson.

‘In the News’ – Displaying a news article on the board or a series of articles displayed around the room related to the topic. Students complete a quiz or discuss them to explore the learning of the lesson.

‘Big Picture’ – Display some images on the board and students have to link them to their prior learning and also suggest how it links to their new learning. For example this could be more abstract that one image links to a series of answers that students have to explain step by step how they came to link the known topic.

‘Quotes’ – Writing words, examples or quotes on the board that link to the theme of the lesson. You could even use jokes or short video clips on a loop and students must identify the rationale behind it.

‘TED Ed’ – There are so many fantastic videos that you can use to start your lesson in an engaging and curious way. Check out this blog post for more detail.

‘Matching Task’ – Give students a hand out with some images and statements related to the learning objectives and they have to match them up then their peers check if they are correct.

‘Rally Robin’ – Getting students engaged in a dialogue about facts, knowledge and understanding from previous lessons which then links to the new knowledge of that lesson.

‘Mission Impossible’ – Hiding activities under chairs or tables and students have to find it then complete it before the music ends.

‘Circus Time’ – This has nothing to do with clowns or performing seals but basically you place several short activities around the classroom and each group moves round to complete the 7 or 8 1 minute starters including more practical elements.