Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Scoot Game (Teachers Swear By It)

One of my favorite things I've come across is a classroom activity fondly referred to on the ProTeacher Community as the "Scoot game."  It's actually very easy to do, a great way to review information for any subject, and it gets students up and moving!  Teachers on the site swear by it.

Here's how to do it:

Scoot Game-
- Make a simple chart with boxes to represent each student in your class, and number each box (pretend each box is a student).  Give a copy to each student. This is where they will write their answers.  You need a copy as well, with problems and solutions in each box.

-For each student's desk, assign a number.  It would probably be a good idea to have the desks evenly divided into rows.  (*note*  I thought about it, and it seems to me putting the desks in a big circle would be the best method.  It would make movement between desks easier.) You may want to fold an index card with a number written on it so that it is easily visible.

-On each desk, place a flashcard or index card with a problem on it.  It could be a math problem, a question from a social studies text, a vocabulary definition, etc.  Each desk will have a different problem on it.

-When you start the game, students flip over the index card, read the problem and solve it.  At regular intervals, yell "scoot!" and have students move to the next desk to solve the next problem.  If they start at desk 1, they will write the answer in box 1 and, when "scoot" is called, they must flip the card over and scoot to desk 2 to do the same thing with a new problem.  If they start at desk 18, they must scoot to desk 19, etc.

-Once everyone has gone to each desk and gotten a chance to answer each question, you can end the game and review the answers they wrote on their charts.

Here is one I made up for a class of 12 students reviewing percents:

How much time do they have to work before you demand for them to "scoot"?  It's entirely up to you!  You probably want to begin reviews slowly at first (and have a few practice runs before assigning problems to demonstrate how to scoot in an orderly fashion from desk to desk).  After a few more lessons on the skill, they should be ready to progress in the game at a faster rate.

If they're just starting out with the skill, give them several seconds, but make it fast enough to keep them on their toes.  If you're preparing them for quick recall of facts (multiplication or state capitals, for example), it would be beneficial (and fun) to train them to be able to scoot within a couple of seconds.

Again, I also like the flexibility.  You could have simple addition problems, shape recognition or letter identification on the cards for kindergartners, or complex math, science or grammar problems for older grades.  The sky's the limit.

Join the ProTeacher forums and search "scoot" for some pre-made game questions from the awesome members!  I credit them for the idea.


image: microsoft


  1. Thanks for sharing this game, Veronica. I found your explanation very easy to understand I can see how this would be great fun.

  2. You're quite welcome, Mrs S! It sounded great to me as well. If you use it, let me know how it works out!

  3. Sounds like a great way to practice math which students would like. I will have to try using it next week. Thanks for sharing