First, coming up with punny headlines is tougher than you think.
Next, I want to share an assessment tool I found online. It’s called Plickers and is a great tool for quick checks, or even as exit tickets for your classes. It may remind you of Kahoot!, but students will not need smartphones to use it – useful in schools where not all students can afford phones, or in schools where the devices are banned in the classroom.
To use Plickers, you need two parts. The first is a set of cards with unique codes (one for each student). A class set of these cards are available for a free download from the Plickers website (under the tab “Cards”). The other part you will need is a free, downloadable app that the teacher loads onto their iPad, tablet or smartphone.
Here’s how Plickers works:
- Download the cards and then print a set for your class. The cards feature unique codes that resemble simplified QR or UPC codes. Plickers provides a free set that numbers up to 40 unique codes, so there should be enough for even very large class sizes.
- Distribute one card to each of your students. (I have numbered all my desks. So, when distributing the numbered cards, I could latter keep track of the results). The code on each card is roughly square in shape, with one of four letters (A, B, C or D) on each of the four sides.
- Using the Plickers app, create a question for the students. Since the code card contains 4 different letters, I created a multiple choice question with 4 answer options – labeled A, B, C and D (to correspond with the letters on the card).
- I presented the question to the students. They chose the answer they wanted to go with. Then, they used the cards to communicate their answers to me. Students did so by turning the cards such that whatever letter corresponded to their answer was oriented upwards, or at the top of the code. Then, students held the card up for me to see.
- Here is where Plickers gets cool – I pointed my iPad (with the Plickers app activated) and tapped on the “scan” button. Using the iPad’s camera, the app scans the room – card by card – and records each student’s response. The responses are attached to the number on the card, not a name. So, the results are anonymous, in terms of the students, but the teacher can see who has grasped the concept and who needs more help.
I mirrored my iPad up on my screen, so students could watch the responses scan in live and get added to the results graph.
The only glitch I encountered was through the orientation of my iPad. If I held it horizontally, it read the code cards in one way. But, if I turned the iPad portrait style, it read the codes in another way. Make sure you are aware of that before scanning.
The app is very intuitive and easy to use. It puts a high-tech spin on formative assessment and provides quick and easy-to-read accounting of results.
Give it a try today!