Sunday, July 6, 2014

Kahoot! is a Hoot!

So, at the end of last year, I was reading through the posts on Edmodo that other math and social studies teachers had posted.  One that caught my eye was about Kahoot!  Several teachers commented and talked about the fact that their students loved it.  I was intrigued and looked into the site.  First off, I found out that it was free which fits perfectly into my teacher budget.  Next, I found that it was super easy to use and didn't take a lot of time or work to make a review/quiz which fit into the hectic end of year schedule that I had.  Finally, I discovered that my students loved it!  It surprised me, to be quite honest.  The first group I tried it with was my least math loving students.  They were totally into it and wanted to play more.  I decided that if it could motivate my students that didn't love math, maybe it was worth using more often.

Kahoot! can be played on a computer, a laptop, an iPad, or a cell phone.  As long as you have access to an internet connection and web browser, you can play from anything.  Here is a quick walk through of Kahoot!  I took a lot of screen shots so you get a feel for the game part of the site.  I was also in the preview mode, not the full game of the literal equations review/quiz that I had made.  The cell phone is only on the side when you play a preview of a review/quiz.

First of all, Kahoot! is full of reviews/quizzes that other teachers have made and shared.  If you didn't want to make your own, chances are you will find something that you can use.  This is a screen shot of a search that I did for equations through the public reviews/quizzes that are available from other teachers.  I found a lot of reviews/quizzes that are available and I do not even have to take the time to make them! : )

When a review/quiz starts, the students are shown the game pin.  For this game, it was 50964.  Students go to and they will be asked to enter the pin.  Also, the pins change each time you play, so you can't just write the pin on the board and use it for every class.  Yep, I tried that and it didn't work.

Students are then prompted to enter a username.  I know when I do this next year, I will assign the group names to the students.  This was the most time consuming part.  As students enter their username, it appears on the screen.  When all of the students are entered, push the start now button and the review/quiz will begin.

The question comes up without choices to give students time to read it before the choices appear.

Then the question with the choices comes up.  On the students screen they just see the 4 boxes (red, blue, gold, and green) with the shape in each colored box.  You can set the amount of time students have to answer the question.

Kahoot! shows how the class did.  If, I remember right, the students also see if they are correct after everyone has answered on their device screen.

This screen shot just shows what it would look like if the answer was wrong.  Since I was the only one playing this game, it looks a little funny.  I liked these screens at the end of the review/quiz because if I was using it for error analysis, I could see how many students/teams in the room were making a particular mistake.  It was a quick "dipstick test" to see where understanding was.

Another feature that I like is that 2 answers can be correct.  Actually, all 4 could be correct if you wanted it to be.  In this screenshot, I had E/R=I and I=E/R as correct answers.

After the correct answer is revealed, the scoreboard is revealed.  Students really loved this!  There was a lot of motivation to do the next problem if you came in 2nd, 3rd, etc. place on the last question.  I was surprised that even my struggling students were working to solve the problems and didn't give up.  Competition was motivating!

At the end of the game, the final scoreboard is shown and students can see how they did.  I just gave the first place team eternal bragging rights, but next year, I think I will have a prize of some sort.

After the final scoreboard, there is a feedback form that students can fill in about their experience with the review/quiz.

The final screen declares the winner.  I like that it says how many right and wrong the team/individual had.  I think it helps to see that no one is perfect all the time.  Speed usually causes even the best students to mess up.

I usually don't talk about a website to this extent, but this is actually one that I am excited about and think it will be useful next year to switch things up and do something different.  

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