When I say, “Brain Spill” students know to get a piece of notebook paper and pencil out. Then, I give them a keyword or skill to write in the center of their paper, set our countdown timer for 2 minutes, and the race begins. What’s the goal?? Write all the quality information or examples you know about the topic or skill. YOUR PENCIL CANNOT LEAVE THE PAPER! Regardless of the skill, I typically keep it at 2 minutes – long enough for students to brainstorm several ideas and not long enough that students can begin talking/chatting!
When students finish, their papers look something like this!
When tables finish with All-Write Round Robin, I have assigned a certain number (1s, 2s, 3s, etc) to stand as a visual signal to me that we’re ready to continue. When I have 5 people standing (I have five table groups), we take turns sharing information from our webs and we create a class anchor chart (see below). I go through a couple of rounds as we discuss and elaborate on the information they included on their brainstorming webs.
It’s that simple. In just 10 minutes or so, students walk away with a set of notes that showcases the ‘highlights’ from our learning, they’ve talked about the content, and we’ve discussed the content as a class.
A super, simple idea – these brain spills are perfect for reviewing before a test or pre-assessing knowledge as you begin a unit! Plus, it is all student-driven – no lecturing, no boring reviews, not teacher focused. So, there you go – Brain Spills! 🙂 Do you use Brain Spills in your class or do you use another way to quickly review content? If so, I’d love to hear about it!
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