Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Twitter Bingo - A Fun Way to Introduce Twitter to Teachers

I spent yesterday working with teachers in Canton, Connecticut. A Twitter Bingo board was one of the first things that I noticed when I walked into the room in which I gave my opening talk. I immediately snapped a picture of it and Tweeted it. Throughout the day that picture was liked and reTweeted dozens of times.

The Twitter bingo chart that I photographed was developed in part by Ruth Kidwell. Ruth later replied to a Tweet from a teacher who wanted to use the chart for introducing Twitter to his colleagues. Ruth's reply included a link to the Google Drawing in which the Twitter Bingo game was created.

It is one thing to talk to your colleagues about using Twitter for professional development, but it's another to get them to actually use it. Twitter Bingo provides people with a fun way to learn about how Twitter works.

Jumble Mode Is a New Way to Play Kahoot Games

Earlier today while creating a chart to compare features of popular quiz game tools I noticed that Kahoot has a new formatting option called Jumble Mode. The jumble mode lets you create quiz games in which students sort answer choices instead of just picking one correct answer from a multiple choice or true/false question. The jumble mode is still a beta product which means that you can currently try quizzes that have jumble mode, but you can't yet create your won jumble mode quizzes. A selection of jumble mode quizzes is available in this Kahoot blog post.

I played a Kahoot quiz in jumble mode this morning. The concept is solid. There is one thing that needs to be improved in the jumble mode. When students play a quiz in jumble mode they still have to look up at the screen in the front of the room to see the question and answer choices. Like all other Kahoot games, in jumble mode, students only see four colored shapes on their devices. Shifting attention between the screen in the front of the room and the screen in your hands adds a bit of a disconnect between the question and the answer choices. This is the same complaint that I've had about Kahoot's format for years.

Applications for Education
Once it is available to all teachers, Kahoot's jumble mode could prove to be a good way to create sequencing and sorting quiz games. When I first saw jumble mode I immediately thought of using it to create a game in which students put a series of historical events into their proper chronological sequence.

Six Tools for Creating Classroom Quiz Games - A Comparison Chart

Twice in the last week I have given presentations about tools for creating fun formative assessment activities. The most popular part of that presentation is when we play a couple of quiz games in Kahoot and Socrative. Those are probably the best known quiz game platforms. They are not the only quiz game platforms. There are some other good ones. All of them have a common purpose, to make review fun, and all of them have some common features. The comparison chart embedded below can help you see the different features of six popular quiz game tools. Those tools are Kahoot, Quizizz, Quizalize, Triventy, Socrative, and Quizlet Live.

The features that are common to all six platforms are:
1. Teachers can collaborate on quiz creation by accessing published quizzes and modifying them for their own classroom use.
2. All of these quiz game tools let teachers get results in a spreadsheet format.
3. Teachers can set the games to give students immediate feedback on their answers.

The chart embedded above is hosted on You won't be able to view the chart if your school's network blocks If that's the case, you can view a Google Docs version of the chart.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Try Quizalize to Run a "Quiz Night" for Students & Parents

Last week in Atlanta a teacher asked me about the possibility of running a "Kahoot night" in which her students and their parents would play Kahoot games at home together. There were two problems she was running into in organizing that idea. The first problem was timing the event so that everyone would sign-in at the same time. The second problem was that students couldn't see the answer choices for the quiz. My solution for her was to try using Quizalize instead of Kahoot to host a quiz night for students and their parents.

Quizalize is a quiz game platform that will remind you of Kahoot. Like Kahoot, students play your quiz games on their laptops or tablets by going to the Quizalize website then entering their names and a class code. Students are awarded points for correctly answering questions quickly. Students are given feedback instantly on every quiz question that they answer. A total score is presented to students at the end of every quiz. What's different about Quizalize is that you can have students play a quiz game as a classroom activity or you an assign to them to play at home. Either way that they play students receive immediate feedback and can track their own progress on a game when they play it multiple times.

In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to create, distribute, and track quiz games in Quizalize.

Resources for Teaching About Veterans Day

This coming Friday is Veterans Day and schools across the US will be closed. Try one or more of the following resources to help students understand the origins and meaning of Veterans Day.

Bet You Didn't Know: Veterans Day. The video explains the origins of the holiday and why its date of celebration has twice shifted in the United States. The end of the video includes an explanation of the differences between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. PBS News Hour has a basic lesson plan about Veterans Day. That lesson plan includes giving this quiz to students before showing them Bet You Didn't Know: Veterans Day

NBC News offers the following short audio slideshow about the history and meaning of Veterans Day.

ReadWorks offers a selection of texts about Veterans Day. The passages include questions for discussion. ReadWorks offers texts for all grade levels.

For more resources on Veterans Day, see this list created by Larry Ferlazzo.