Saturday, September 20, 2014

Daily Drills with Kahoot

From the first day in my class on, my students are trained to know that they have a drill at the start of class.  Whatever it is will be up on the board - worksheet, textbook exercise, speaking topic, whatever.  This year, I've started using Kahoot.

Kahoot is basically a site that allowed you to create online quizzes and surveys.  Students then log in to your activity using their phones and go through the activity.  The questions are all multiple choice, so even students who struggle will be able to come up with an answer.

I usually do 10-15 question quizzes related to something we've been practicing recently.  Here's a Regular Tense quiz for German verbs and here's identifying Latin Cases, just so you can get an idea of how you could use this resource.  Make sure you select "randomize answers" before you launch the quiz though!

I'm going to walk you through the process of using Kahoot with your students.  Screen shots come from the Regular Tense quiz linked above.

Step One: Students Sign In
Once you've launched the quiz, have this screen showing up front.  All the directions students need are there - how to sign in and their game pin.

Left side is what you'll see on your computer, to the right is what students see on their phone

What's great about Kahoot is that unlike Poll Everywhere, students don't need to text in their answers (I don't want them to have to worry about fees!).  And unlike ExitTicket, they don't need to sign up for an account (I hate making kids download a bunch of apps, sign up for a bunch of different accounts, and give them just another thing to remember).  Students just need a phone, tablet or computer with an internet connection - when they "log in" to your quiz, they put in a nickname.  No accounts required!

Kahoot displays how many kids have signed in and what their nicknames are
If students don't have their phone with them (or it's not charged or whatever), you can have them pair up with some one sitting next to them.  That way no one feels put on the spot if they don't have a smart phone or if their parents won't let them bring it to school.

Usually I come around to check homework as students work on their drill.  I can still do this with Kahoot - I give students time to sign in (which can take a couple minutes if students have to turn on phones, find a partner, etc).  They know that when I'm done the homework check, it's time to get started.

Step Two: Students Take The Quiz
Questions appear on the screen one at a time.  The question is displayed for a few seconds before the answers are shown.  Students then have 30 seconds to pick what they think the answer is (or more or less time... you can set it when you create your quiz).  Students get points for answering correctly... and for how quickly they answered.

Question appears first

Answer choices appear - students have 30 seconds to answer

Step Three: Let Them Compete!
After each question, Kahoot lets them see where they place in terms of the rest of the class.  They'll see if they're in 1st or 7th or 20th place, and they'll see how many students got the question right (or wrong).  Students won't have to worry about being called out for being wrong... Kahoot will only show the number of students who guessed each answer, but never who answered what.

You should see how competitive they get!  For the more advanced students in the class, it's a competition to get first.  For the students who struggle more, it's a competition to not be last or to get at least two or three right.

After each question, Kahoot also displays the top five students.  This can change dramatically from question to question, depending on their speed and if they get something wrong.  Students love seeing their name up there!  Since I use stickers as an incentive, I give stickers to the top three students at the end of the quiz.

We've done I think three of these in my Latin 1 class and they love it!  They ask all the time if they can do Kahoot.  It's not something I want to do all the time, but it seems like it could be a fun way of rewarding a hard working class.

This is a really easy way to get students energized about class while still practicing content.  They get instantaneous feedback, and let's face it - any chance to use their phone in class is something they're going to jump at.  I *highly* recommend this website.  I think after you've tried it once, you'll love it!

- Frau Leonard

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