Thursday, February 26, 2015

Electrifying and Intriguing!

Yesterday was one of those rare days in our classroom ... an odd day out ... a day where I could choose to explore topics outside of our typical planned curriculum.

First up, I wanted to learn about Kahoot.  So I found a public game that had questions suitable for review for our upcoming benchmark test.  I told the students I wanted them to teach me how to play.  And teach me they did!

  1. As soon as I said we were going to play Kahoot, the atmosphere was electrified!  Students were beyond eager to get started!
  2. I set up teams of 4 but after a few questions, students began suggesting that it would be more fun to play in pairs ... more students engaged in the problem solving!
  3. The game we used was created by a generous teacher unknown to us who made his or her work public.  For that we are thankful.  But we learned 30 questions is a bit long!
  4. Students pointed out that some questions had too long of a time limit ... 120 seconds were just too many.  They suggested keeping most questions at 30 seconds.
  5. I learned that we will need an answer document to hold all students accountable. 
  6. Kahoot definitely will be a game of choice for future formative assessment and review sessions!  I can envision starting class with a 10 question Kahoot reviewing the previous day's work.
In the second half of class I wanted to explore one of the new Desmos class activities ... PolyGraph.  Kahoot was such a big hit that I thought maybe Polygraph would be a let down ... but it was NOT!  Students said, "This is too much fun!"  They were not eager to quit and in fact, kept playing even when I offered other choices.  We played the parabola version of PolyGraph this time.  But very soon we will be working with Rational Functions ... and I envision PolyGraph as a great classroom activity for reinforcing vocabulary and attributes of the functions.

Our curriculum is mapped out fairly tightly, so a "free" day doesn't happen very often.  The day provided the perfect opportunity to test new technologies to determine how best to use them!

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