PLAY4A: Convert Multiple Choice Questions Into Interactive Games

WHO: Teachers interested in an engaging platform for classroom content review.

HOW: Head over to https://play4a.com/ and select “Create A Quiz”.  You will be prompted to create as a guest or to create an account.  Add multiple choice questions and answers then share when you are finished.  You will be given a code to share with your class.  Instruct your students to head over to the same website, but they should select “Play A Game”. Next students will enter the code you have provided and choose to play as a guest or to create an account. Upon entering, students will have the opportunity to play 15 different games using the questions that you have entered.

WHEN: As it currently stands, this website does not record any results from the games being played. Due to this, I would not recommend this option for formative assessment, but rather an option to reinforce fact-based content.  As the only question type is multiple-choice, teachers are limited to low-level questions. Students will find the games to have a wide variety and engaging.

Teach Like a Pirate: A Book for All Teachers

WHO: New teachers, teachers in the later stages of their career, and those feeling the grind.

HOW: Discussing books is not something I normally do on this blog, but this book is something special.  I have never been one for reading, but after picking up a copy of “Teach Like a Pirate” by Dave Burgess, I found a spark to innovate again and developed a passion for reading books by teachers.  I would recommend this book to new teachers to learn ways to develop amazing lessons.  Teachers that may be feeling the grind over their career will walk away from the book refreshed and remember why they got into the passion to start.  The main focus of the book is developing “hooks” to grab students attention and engage them in the lesson.  The biggest take away for me is the adage: “Do students run TO your classroom, or AWAY from it”?

WHEN: This book makes a great gift for any teacher.  It is small enough to read in a weekend but it could also make for a great book-study program for an entire school.

Order a copy online!

Gimkit – Classroom Review with a Strategic Twist

WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging review activity or formative assessment opportunity.

HOW: Sign up for an account at https://www.gimkit.com/.  Users can create their own “kits” or question sets, choose from sets that others have created.  Question sets can also be exported from Quizlet to create sets.  When you are ready to play as a class, there are a wide variety of gameplay options to choose from. While answering questions, students are awarded “cash” or lose it depending on correct/incorrect responses.  As they build up a cash value, students can utilize power-ups to earn/lose more cash on each question or other bonus items.

When setting up a game, there are quite a few options to choose from.  Under the Game Goal category, users can select Time (time limit), Target (each player hits a target score), Race (first one to the target amount wins), or All-In (all students combine to a total score goal).  Teachers can also give a starting cash amount, which can help them unlock bonuses faster.  Other gameplay options include allowing students to see correct answers following incorrect responses, settings a handicap limit, background music, clapping, and displaying a Leaderboard during the game.

After completing a game, teachers have the option to look at statistics for individual and the class as a whole.

WHEN: Gimkit is a great option for formative assessment and classroom review.  Question sets can also be assigned for homework. As we finish up the school year, this is an option to do something different in your review sessions with students.

At first, I thought Gimkit would just be another Kahoot! or Quizizz.  After trying one out, I found myself fully engaged on a set of questions regarding surface area and volume (mind you my background is social studies).  Depending on what your students prefer, any of these three options are great.  As Gimkit is using question sets, allowing a timed game will allow students to benefit from question repetition that they would typically get from flash cards.

Bloomz: Fantastic App to Communicate with Parents

WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging way to interact and communicate with parents, while sharing information in a private and secure setting.

HOW: Teachers create an account and set up a classroom. Next step is to invite the parents.  This can be done via e-mail or printing invitations to be sent home.  Parents can create an account online, or download the app on their phone to get started.

Once in Bloomz, teachers have a plethora of options to update their parents.  Some useful examples include adding pictures to share from the class, adding calendar events, sending reminders, creating a volunteer sign-up, and scheduling parent-teacher conferences.

WHEN: Bloomz is a great addition to a classroom at all times.  Teachers can capture special moments in class and upload for the parents to see.  It is great when teachers need help with purchasing materials or bringing supplies in for an event.

 

Here is what one Grade 2 enjoys about using Bloomz in her class:

EASY to add a post, reminder, calendar event, picture, etc
QUICK just a couple clicks
PRIVATE because it is Secure for just your group, and private messaging is also available if you want to talk with an individual parent
FUN because I want to add and share pics and the parents love it too
FAMILIAR because it reminds you of “facebook” with the layout, and you can even “like” and “comment” like FB
KEEPING TRACK is easy because you can see exactly who viewed your post.  Parents can’t say they didn’t get the message!
Parents have really enjoyed it for a lot of these same reasons.  I even have a grandparent that is on because she wants to help and volunteer and wants to be able to see when events are coming up.

FlipQuiz: Online Review Gameshow

WHO: Teachers looking for an easier way to make gameshow style review games in the classroom.

HOW: Sign up for an account at http://flipquiz.me/, then either start creating your own board, or search for the topic you are covering.  After creating an account, the user can choose between the free version or the paid version.  Upgrading allows the user to copy other boards, have the game keep score (must do this manually with free account), upload images, create flashcards for students, and more.

WHEN: FlipQuiz is a great option for weekly/semesterly review.  Students enjoy playing gameshows, working in teams, and competing with each other. FlipQuiz makes this process much easier, and is saved online for future use.

Quick Start Video Tutorial: Quizizz – Engaging Digital Formative Assessment

quizizz

Original post regarding Quizizz was created on February 3, 2016.  View it here.

WHO: Teachers that are looking to move away from worksheets and paper based exit tickets.

HOW: Sign up for an account on Quizizz and get started!

WHEN: Quizizz is great for formative assessment, engaging closure to lessons, or even as homework.

Here is a tutorial video to get started with Quizizz in your classroom:

Triventy: Interactive Quizzes For Classroom Or Events

Triventy

WHO: Teachers looking to engage students with classroom content in an interactive and engaging atmosphere.

HOW: Create an account at http://www.triventy.com/, create a quiz, and play with students.  While making a quiz, the teacher can add a quiz image as well as individual question images.  Teachers also have options for how long each question is given (5-60 seconds), making the quiz public, posting top 3 players during game, and sharing via social media after quiz completion. When making questions, teachers can invite others to create the quiz with them (great for student collaboration), and enter hints and “Did you know…” facts. Teachers can also make a question a “survey question” for in class polling.

WHEN: Triventy is a good option to end class for the day or week.  Students will be engaged during the quiz and enjoy competing against their classmates.

 

The downside to Triventy is that it does not collect quiz results for the teacher to use later.  This could be a great formative assessment tool if this feature were added.  It is not the perfect tool for class, but it is a fun change of pace.

Code Combat: Learn Coding While Playing A Game

codecombat

WHO: Teachers looking for a way to engage students in learning how to write code.

HOW: Students can sign up and start playing on their own, or a teacher can set up a class with student accounts and track progress. Code Combat teaches students to actually type code, the next step after the drag-and-drop blocks you see on most websites to teach code. Code Combat teaches students can choose from the following languages:

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 2.29.33 AM

WHEN: This is a great activity to kick off the Hour of Code December 7-13, an enrichment course, or a full computer science course.

Class Compete – Game Based Assessment

classcompete

WHO: Teachers looking to help ease students who suffer from test anxiety.

HOW: Teachers create an account, create a class, and have students sign up via class code.  Teachers then assign challenges to their classes.  Students take these challenges and compete against each other.  Questions are put into a game, correct answers give students a boost.

WHEN: This is a great tool for test prep, extended lessons, and extra practice.

Some students need a game based environment in order to be engaged in the content.  Class Compete also captures students attention by allowing them to customize their characters.

 

Here is an introduction to the teacher’s dashboard:

And here is a demonstration of the student view: