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Bull's-Eye Answers

This idea is based on this strategy from the fabulous Kristina Smekens and is used as a way to teach students how to narrow answer choices.  See more here.​

This Homework Buster variation uses the bull's-eye to sort students' answers to assignment questions.


-giant plastic bull's-eye (see directions here)

-completed assignment (this Homework Buster is particularly effective for open-ended questions)

The Gist of the Target:

The outer-most ring is for answers that are FAR from correct.  They may be factually incorrect, untrue, or otherwise obviously not correct.

The next ring is for answers that are true or factually correct, but don't quite answer the question being asked.  For math questions, this might be answers that used parts of the correct process but contained errors that led to an incorrect answer.

Then the next ring is for answers that seem correct, both factually and in the context of the question.  I call this the "shopping cart."  You know how when you're shopping, you see a shirt you THINK you like, but you're not sure?  What do you do?  Well, I carry it around with me through the rest of the store.  Put it in my shopping cart!  Then I decide if I really want it or not as I see the rest of the merchandise and take time to weigh this option.  So this ring is the answer shopping cart.  We gather answers we THINK may be right.

Then we compare those options in our shopping cart and isolate the one(s) that are the BEST, most complete for the question.  For math questions, this would mean not just a fully correct answer but correct, clear steps as well.

Homework Buster Directions:

Pick one significant question from the assignment.

Each student writes their answer on an index card or scrap of paper.  You collect them.  Group students.  Shuffle the cards up and then distribute some to each group.  Then the groups consider each answer and place them on the bull's-eye accordingly.  The whole class gets a visual, interactive way to consider the content and nail down the "best" answers.  By not writing names on the cards, students get to evaluate other students' answers, realize where their own falls, etc while respecting their privacy.

Repeat with any other essential questions.

This gives the students immediate feedback they discover on their own and with their peers about their own answers.  You are also getting immediate feedback who's names are making it in the center often and who you aren't seeing often enough.  A roster on a clip board makes it easy to tally answers to know who you need to work with later or which concepts need retaught.


-This bull's-eye can be used as a test-taking strategy to help students narrow answer choices to select the BEST answer.  It's an excellent strategy, and the big, plastic version gets them up and moving!

-The Shuffleboard Homework Buster also uses this giant bull's-eye and is a fun, competitive way to do an assignment in class.

-Use the target as a check for understanding with this Lecture Buster or exit ticket variation.

See more variations for each use on their respective pages.

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