Thursday, September 22, 2016

Great Review Games for the Classroom That Isn't 1:1

A comment that I frequently hear during or after my workshop on backchannels and informal assessment goes something like this, "I would love to do these things, but not all of my students have computers to use." Fortunately, there are some great review games that can be played in classrooms that only have a handful of web-enabled devices.

Kahoot, the wildly popular quiz game platform, released a new team mode last spring. The team mode is designed to be used with students who are sharing computers, tablets, or phones. In team mode students arrange themselves in teams around a shared computer or tablet. When you start a Kahoot game you'll now choose "team mode." With team mode selected your students will be prompted to enter a team name and a list of the team members. After the teams have entered their names you will be ready to start the game. One of the nice features of team mode is that students have time to discuss their answer choices before they are allowed to submit a response. From there the game is played and scored just as any other Kahoot game is played and scored.

Quizlet Live allows teachers to select a set of vocabulary words in Quizlet and that set as the basis of a review game that students play in teams. Much like Kahoot and other multiplayer review games controlled by teachers, in Quizlet Live students go to a dedicated webpage ( then they have to enter a game pin. As soon as your students have entered the correct game pin they will be randomly assigned to teams (teachers can reshuffle teams). The game aspect is that students have to work in teams to sort vocabulary terms to their matching definitions (you can also create vocabulary sets that feature math problems or other questions). Teams earn points by making correct matches quickly, but their progress is reset to zero if they make a mistake so they need to focus on accuracy more than speed.

Plickers uses a teacher's iPad or Android tablet in conjunction with a series of QR codes to create a student response system. Students are given a set of QR codes on large index cards. The codes are assigned to students. Each code card can be turned in four orientations. Each orientation provides a different answer. When the teacher is ready to collect data, he or she uses the Plickers mobile app to scan the cards to see a bar graph of responses. In your teacher account on Plickers you can view and save all of the data that you collected from scanning your students' Plickers cards.

Jeopardy-style games are the old standard for in-classroom review games. You can use Flippity to create Jeopardy-style gameboards through Google Spreadsheets. In the video embedded I demonstrate how to use Flippity to create a Jeopardy-style gameboard.