Monday, July 27, 2015

Using Kahoot! as a Warm Up in AP Stats

I hate assigning late detention.  First of all, I often don't notice that a few kids are slipping into my classroom late because I'm busy doing other things (things like checking homework or "teaching").  When I do notice that a kid is late, I hate having my first interaction with them be a negative one.  If I tell myself, "Oh, I'll tell them during group work/independent practice time that they have late detention". . . I am going to forget.  I also hate writing kids' names on the board to assign detention because that's either really distracting OR the kid doesn't notice.  I hate assigning late detention; it is the worst.

I want kids to be motivated to get to class on time, which means that I need to be doing something in the first few minutes of class that is absolutely vital.  My warm up/drill/do nows in the past have not been vital to anyone.  Yes, they're good for accessing prior knowledge or setting up the day's lesson, but I'm not interested in grading Warm Ups, so kids don't tend to find them important.  I also need a few minutes to take attendance and check homework.  We only have 47 minutes in class, and I can't waste a moment.

Another issue I need to fix is that my students don't do very well on the multiple choice part of the AP Statistics exam - or even on the chapter tests that I give.  My kids tend to score above average on FRQ's, but at or slightly below average on multiple choice.

Finally, as I'm reading Make It Stick, which is for some reason taking me forever to read (that "some reason" may be having a 7 month old daughter... maybe), I'm realizing more and more that kids need to be quizzed on "old" concepts more in my class, and that interleaved practice is the way to go.

The solution?  Kahoot!

I started thinking about using Kahoot! at the end of this past school year, and after seniors left and the AP exam was over, I was able to workshop using Kahoot! with my remaining six juniors.  Once I rejoined the MTBoS, one of the first things I came across was Julie's post about using Kahoot! for engagement, which made me feel like I wasn't crazy for wanting to try this out.

Kahoot! as a Warm Up:

Starting the second week of school, I am going to begin each class with 2-3 multiple choice questions in Kahoot!

Right when the bell rings, I will give students one minute to sign into Kahoot, then the questions will begin.  Students will have to move quickly to a) pick up their ISN materials from the table at the entrance to my room and b) sign into Kahoot!

Students will work with the same partner every day (their seat buddy) and have the same "team" name to use in Kahoot! each day - which will be recognizable to me.  One of the partner's must have a device that can access Kahoot!

I will DEFINITELY be using the timer function of Kahoot! so that we move quickly.

We will quickly review each problem after the game, and I will download the google spreadsheet for each class.  I am going to use this data to create a "leader board" in my room, which will reset each month (or biweekly?).  I don't care about how quickly they answer the questions though, so the leader board will be based on the number of questions that the teams answered correctly.

I would like Kahoot! to take up 5-6 minutes at the beginning of each class:

  • 1 minute to sign in
  • about 3 minutes for the questions (total)
  • 1-2 minutes to review

If a team doesn't have a Kahoot! device that day, I will have sticky notes available for them to turn in their answers during the game.  However, I am going to assign the teams so that at least one partner has a device.  The sticky note back up would only be if the device owning partner is absent or for whatever reason doesn't have said device.  The nice thing about the spreadsheet download in Kahoot! is that I can easily add the sticky note kids to the data.

So here's a summary of what I'm hoping I can get out of the Kahoot! warm ups.  It's a lot.

  • Fewer late kids
  • Multiple choice practice
  • Student discussion of problems
  • Interleaved practice
  • Quizzing on previous topics/concepts
  • Immediate active engagement in class (no wasted time) while I do chores
  • Class data 

Things I need to figure out:

  1. What am I doing about team names?  Do I want them just to use both partners' last names?  Or can they make up a fun team name but it has to be "registered" with me so I know who is in the team?  Last names is easier but team names are more fun.
  2. Do I need to have more ISN materials (glue, tape, scissors - or maybe even papers too) already on students' desks so that there is less time picking up materials at the back of the room.  Sometimes I end up with a line into my room which is a problem. 
  3. Where is the Leader Board going to go in my classroom, and how will it be easily update-able (otherwise it's not going to happen).  Maybe one of those little hanging things that you can put sentence strips in?  Different color sentence strips = different class period.  Team name on the front and student names on the back? (that would solve #1).  Wow, brainstorming while writing a post = awesome.  

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