On my last visit to my parents, I brought home a game we used to play when we were younger that I loved. It was called Facts in Five. I sat down today to take a look at it and the rules, reminded myself of how to play. (All I recalled was that it was like Scattergories, but better.)
For those who don’t know, a quick overview: in Facts in Five, players draw cards with to pick 5 categories and 5 letter tiles. The categories and letters are set up in a grid so that, once the time starts (5 minutes), you have to fill in answers that match the letter (rows) and the category (columns). So that’s five answers per category, five answers per letter, 25 answers total.
What really struck me was the scoring system. Instead of just tallying the number of answers, the grid itself contributes. If you have one answer in a column, you only get a point, but if you have two, you get four, 3 gets you 9, etc. Same works for rows. That way it is much more valuable to fill out one column completely (30 points) than to have one right in each column and row (10 points), even though it’s the same number of answers. Having a deep and complete knowledge of a category is more worthwhile than a weak knowledge of several topics.
This is the same thing I tell my students when I give them tests. My tests are usually split into sections based on the learning goals/standards they need to show mastery of. It is better to ace one standard and be done with it then to muddle through, especially in the limited time of a period, so I tell them to focus on the topic they know.
What I wonder is how I can perhaps implement Facts in Five into my assessment system, since it’s scoring system is an inherent way of supporting my system and is less holistic than what I currently have.