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Saturday, May 17, 2014

It’s getting near the end of the year – time to play around

It’s that time of year when a gazillion classes are cancelled, you have basically finished what you intended to do in the syllabus, and yet, you still have a lesson or two left. So what do you do?

Tomorrow is my last lesson in the 10th grade, and we’re going to PARTY!!!!  But, of course, I have my reputation to keep up… so I’m doing it digitally!

First of all, at the end of our previous lesson, I planted the seed (told them that everyone should think of something to bring for brunch.) Then I sent out notifications on What’s App reminding them. Finally, I shared a Google Spreadsheet with the students so they can sign up and write exactly what they are bringing, and see what the others are bringing, as well, so there are no double-ups. (Ok – not everyone has signed up yet – but I trust no one will go hungry)

And what are we going to do while we are chewing?

Well, I have prepared a quiz asking questions about different things that we learnt this year (but not only…. also procedural questions that only kids in my class would know). I had actually asked the students to send me trivia questions that only someone who was in the lessons would know, but none have yet been forthcoming.
  


Using these questions, I have prepared a Kahoot!  Kahoot! (the exclamation mark is part of the name ;-) is a game-based classroom response system. It uses the principles of gamification, to conduct polls, discussions and quizzes. After building a quiz, you project the screen on the smartboard or through the computer and projector. The students have to download the Kahoot! App. to their smartphones, and they’re ready to play! (If they can't download the app, they can still play by writing "kahoot.it" in their phone's browser. This is also a way to play from laptops and tablets.) 


When you go into your game, a Game-pin number is projected on the board. All the students sign into the game using that number. They are asked for a nickname, and as they sign in, all of their names pop up on the board. Once everyone is signed in, the fun begins. The questions are projected on the board, there is music in the background (warning: it CAN be kind of annoying – you might want to turn it down) and a clock for the count down of how many seconds are left to answer.


After everyone has answered, there is a leaderboard, showing what the correct answer was and announces the people with the 5 top scores so far, and what their scores are. On their devices, the students are told what their placement in and how many points they are behind the leader.

I have used it as a participant, and was very impressed. It is sort of like Socrative only way cooler. I played it with my son today (he thought it was a lot of fun). I will bring in my tablet and my laptop in case some kids are without smartphones. And worst case scenario, they can double up on devices, and play as teams.  

Maybe next year, I will have students make their own quizzes to bring to the class!

The platform is colorful, VERY user- friendly, and really gets the participants hoppin’!  I can’t wait to see what the students in my class think about it tomorrow!


I think it’s a great way to finish up the school year – what do YOU think? Check it out: Kahoot!

Digitally yours,
@dele

Of course, not EVERYTHING is digital! The muffins and other things everyone is bringing for a class brunch are real ;-) 
Just as a follow up - the game was a GREAT hit! My students made me promise to use it again next year. 


Although we had some challenges with kids not being able to connect to the wifi of the school, they doubled up, I brought my laptop, tablet and smartphone, and handed that out to some of them, as well. I am not quite sure if they would have had the same problems if they had downloaded the Kahoot! prior to the lesson, but ..... here is what it looked like (for purposes of privacy, I have covered their faces, so, unfortunately you cannot see the excited looks in their eyes. But believe me: they were excited and enthralled!!!! I asked questions that were topic related (related to literature they had learned), general literature questions, and questions about our classroom (ex: what is the hand sign that Adele does when she wants our attention?) The game was exciting, since one specific student lead throughout, and at the very end, another pair pulled up and overtook him! I hope I have left them feeling that we have closed the year with fun and good food (not in the photo - that was after the Kahoot! ;-)