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At this month’s T3 meeting, Natalie Chilese of the World Languages Department presented on the various ways that she engages students in formative assessment, practice/review, and conversation starters. Her excitement for PearDeck and Quizizz brought in a contagious breeze of curiosity, laughter, and honesty. What struck me the most was that…

Her students kept asking to do it again.

It’s not everyday that we hear of students asking for more tests. But in actuality, these formative assessments have been gamified in such a playful way that they don’t give off that nervous, uptight vibe.

Quizizz

IMG_0313How She Uses It: Quizizz is a free, self-paced, multiplayer game that tracks the overall class progress in-real time. “I play a game of Quizizz with the students everyday, and we keep playing until the students reach a class average of 85%. It usually takes about 15 minutes with about 10-12 questions about various topics like conversation, vocabulary, etc.” Students can play this independently for review or as a class competition.

Why She Loves It: Students are anonymous to each other. “[But as the teacher,] I can see every single live game I’ve ever played as well as the overall class accuracy. I can see who got what questions right and how long it took them. It also shows which questions were missed the most.” Also, because each game is played on individual laptop screens, kids with visual impairments can participate easier.

Tips:

  • Award students who join the Quizizz game first.
  • Use the reports feature to review and repeat commonly missed topics.

In-Class Observations: As soon as Natalie mentioned Quizizz, students immediately knew to pull out their laptops and log in with the code projected on the screen.

 

PearDeck

How She Uses It: PearDeck is a Google Slides add-on that inserts interactive question types (works with existing Slide presentations or from blank slides). Inserting an interactive question is as simple as clicking on a question type such as true/false, open ended responses, sentence building out of word bank, and more.

Why She Loves It: From the teacher view, i.e. what is on Natalie’s screen, she can see all the different interactions taking place on individual student screens. She can also select and anonymously display student responses. Teachers are also notified if students haven’t responded. “I typically use it for test review to give instant feedback to students and tell them exactly what points would be taken off for certain responses. I might display five anonymous responses and have students decide which responses were good or bad.”

Tips: 

  • To keep students on task and focused, use a timer for certain question types such as “drawing”. Some students can take a long time perfecting their work.
  • Display student responses/work to keep class accountable for their work.
  • Make sure the projector display setting is on “extend” mode so that you are the only person that can view student work on your screen.
  • Lock answers before discussing answers with the class.
  • Go over answers before displaying all answers.

Teaching Ideas: Social Studies teachers can include questions that allow students drag and drop pins onto a map. Math teachers can add a math question that builds a box and whisker plot for the numeric responses. English teachers could have students write a thesis prompts, anonymously display responses, and analyze what works or doesn’t work. All teachers can post reflective questions such as “In one minute, write the most interesting thing from today’s lesson.”

What’s Next?

Two weeks from now, we will be hosting another workshop for teachers to build out their own Quizizz and PearDeck together. This is a great opportunity to test it out with each other before using it on students!

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