Classroom games – like Jeopardy, trivia, or apps – encourage retrieval. But they can also raise student anxiety when they're competitive or time limited.
This week, we present a no anxiety strategy: Retrieval Tic Tac Toe. Created by college students, adaptable for any classroom or content area. Have fun!
Retrieval Tic Tac Toe
The research is clear: Retrieval practice boosts learning. To get students on board, it's critical to emphasize that retrieval practice is a learning opportunity, not an assessment opportunity.
Classroom games, like Jeopardy and various apps (e.g., Kahoot, Quizlet, etc.) are engaging and low stakes – perfect for retrieval practice. But they can increase anxiety, too. When you were a student, did you ever feel pressured to come up with a correct answer to a question, as soon as possible, without disappointing your teammates? Talk about anxiety!
Retrieval Tic Tac Toe is a no stakes, no tech, no anxiety activity created by Alana, Emily, and J., college students in a psychology class with cognitive scientist Janell Blunt from Anderson University.
Write a tic tac toe grid on the board or project a grid on a screen
Split your class into two teams
Each team writes 5 questions for retrieval practice
One team stands at the front of the class and asks a question. The other team collaborates to come up with the correct answer.
If the seated team gets the question correct, they can put an X on the grid wherever they like.
The teams switch. Now, the team that originally presented collaborates, answers a question, and adds an O if they are correct.
Continue alternating teams for Retrieval Tic Tac Toe, anxiety free!
Students can create questions about previously learned content to incorporate spacing in Retrieval Tic Tac Toe
Questions can be short answer or multiple-choice
You can create a few smaller teams (e.g., 3-4 students each) and have multiple games going at once
Play Retrieval Tic Tac Toe at the beginning, middle, or end of class
No prep or grading required!
How will you use Retrieval Tic Tac Toe in your classroom? Comment below and share!