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Tech Tuesday – Season 3, Episode 14, Testing Review Sites

Welcome to a new episode of Tech Tuesday!  This is episode 14 and this week I’m focusing on some review sites you can use to help students prepare for those end of the year exams, like SOLs and finals. Let’s jump in!

I’m sure when I say the term “review sites”, you all immediately think of Kahoot!, Quizizz, and Quizlet.  These are some of the most popular sites to help with reviewing, so I won’t go into detail as most of you already know about them.  

You also may have heard of Socrative, an oldie, but goodie!  You can create review quizzes with true/false, multiple choice, and open-ended responses.  It also has a gamified option that makes reviewing a little more fun with “Space Race”. This feature works with teams of students competing against each other to launch rockets into space. Results can be displayed live and will keep the competition fierce!  Quizzes can also be shared with other teachers, so if you have a counterpart create the quizzes together and you can both use them in class!

There’s also the popular Gimkit, it’s like a game show for the classroom!  Students answer questions on their own device at their own pace and earn in-game cash by answering questions correctly and lose the cash for incorrect answers.  They can use their earned money to purchase power-ups, like earning double the cash for correct answers. Throughout a Kit, each student will get exposure to the questions multiple times to ensure mastery.

I noticed two features I wasn’t aware of when I was first introduced to GimKit in the fall.  First, you can import existing Quizlets or use Kits within the game by other users. Second, let your students take charge and create their own!  Classes can build a GimKit by having each student contribute a question.  

Since you can only use 5 kits for free, if you haven’t used this yet this year, this would be the perfect opportunity to use it and try something completely different!  

Now for some sites you probably haven’t heard of:

The first site is Internet4Classrooms, which has a section devoted to assessment test resources, with practice tests from grades K-12, including many high school end of course tests. It’s pretty basic and doesn’t have any splashy colors, but it will give students practice time.

Next is Flippity.net, which was featured in episode 9 and has some great review options with their quiz show, similar to Jeopardy, scavenger hunt, flashcards, mix and match, which turns a spreadsheet into a random mix & match grid, and matching games.  You can view a demo, see the instructions and download the template to Google Sheets.  You can also use the Flippity add-on in Google Sheets to help create these review games.

Classtools.net also has good gamified options for review.  They have tools such as Pac Man and the Arcade Game Generator that you can add questions to and students have to answer correctly to move on. There’s a lot here, so its definitely worth a look.  However, I find the site to be a little glitchy sometimes, so take the time to check out this site and the tool you want to use.

Baamboozle is an online tool that received the American Association for School Librarians (AASL) Award for Teaching and Learning.  This tool allows teachers and students to create fun interactive review games. First, create a free account, then click on the “create a game button”. Input your questions and answers adding text and images, and add the number of points the question is worth. The games can be played as a whole class or individually as a review.  You can also choose to divide students into groups with the tool automatically keeping track of each teams’ scores. Share games by copying and pasting the game link and sharing it with your students. Students do not need a username or password to access games.

Gamebuilder allows you to create educational games that reinforce learning with free game templates that include: matching, sequences, rapid fire, baseball and more! The game templates are designed to be flexible to work with any curriculum. Depending on the game you choose, you can enter multiple choice, true/false, matching, or essay type questions.  Students will receive immediate feedback and can play the game as often as they wish.

Blended Play is a site that provides 5 types of games that teachers can add questions to and then display them on a computer projector for all-class play. First, you will create a free account, the create question files which can be loaded in any of the game types.  Games are meant to be played as a group with students in teams. Depending on the game, students will either all answer the same questions or each team will answer a different question during their turn. Games can be used K-12 and with all topic areas. Here’s the link to a handy PDF guide.

Finally, there’s Flipquiz, a free game-show style activity, think Jeopardy, for your classes! Each board allows for up to 5 questions in up to 6 categories. However, what I really like about Flipquiz over some of the other tools I’ve talked about that have Jeopardy like games, is that you can add images and videos to your questions.  So if you want students to identify something, you can add an image or explain a process by explaining what is happening in a video. This site also features, a timer and a toolbox with Random Student Chooser and Random Grouper tools!

All of the links to these tools can be found below.

Now, along the way, I also found some pretty awesome non-tech ways to review and I wanted to share a few of these, as well, because even though technology is in the title, I’m all about innovative thinking too!  This first idea is called “hot seat”. On index cards, write down a question, then hide these question cards under a few of the seats in your room.  At some point during the block announce, “Hot seat!”. Have students jump up and look under their chairs.  If they have a question, they are challenged to answer (possibly with help from classmates). I think this one can be modified a few ways, such as having students move seats when “hot seat” is called to find a new seat and then answer a question, or having a phone a friend option, or an optional bonus skip card.  I’ll let your imaginations work on this one!

These next two ideas come from John Meehan, a teacher at O’Connell High School in Arlington, VA.  You may have seen these if you follow me on Twitter because I think I retweeted it a few times!

The first idea is to use small clothespins and have students attach one to their shirt collar or sleeve.  Give students 5 mins to create their own questions, write them on paper, and then walk around the room quizzing each other.  If a student can answer the question they keep going, but if they can’t, the student who asked the question gets to take the other student’s clothespin.  You can do this for any amount of time you wish, but the student with the most clothes pins at the end of the time wins. I thought this was a great way to get students up and out of their seats trying to stump each other.

The other idea is a little crazier!  It’s called the EggDash Challenge. Take eggs, like the plastic easter egg kind that break apart and then take a worksheet, cut up the questions and put one in each egg.  Dump all the eggs into a box and have students split into groups. One person from each group runs to the box, grabs an egg, takes it back to their group to answer the question, and then another person takes the egg back and gets a new one. You set the time limit.  It looks like a great experience in the video John created. This idea has gone viral and teachers across the country are recording their students during the challenge and uploading it to Twitter. Check out the the full rules.

Some teachers have also modified it a bit.  In John’s version, students come up to him to give him the right answer, but you could also have students write their answers on paper, especially if it’s math related, and then go over the answers at the end. The group with the most correct wins.  Or do as this teacher did and have students put their answers in a Google Form quiz.

Another teacher hid eggs around her room and another used their school library to hide their eggs.

Then there’s this last idea from Jonathan Spike: use separate baskets of eggs based on question difficulty.  What smart ideas!


It’s pretty exciting to see videos from all over the world of teachers doing this crazy activity with their students!  If you want to join in, check out John’s blog in the link below on how to get started.

If you think this is crazy, check out the next way John modifies the Egg Dash challenge into a Fortnite Battle Royale.  I know nothing about Fortnite, but if you have students that have lost their minds over it, this one other idea might be for you.

TECH NEWS

Last fall, I went to my very first edcamp or what is also known as an un-conference.  I really didn’t know what to expect, because unlike a conference where you can see the breakout sessions beforehand and if you’re like me, diligently prepare, study the session descriptions and know exactly which sessions you’re going to at least a week out, you don’t have a list of sessions.  They’re created when you walk in the door. I’ve avoided them for years, thinking it would be this really crazy unstructured thing and I wouldn’t know what to do. But as it turns out, it’s one of the best professional development events I’ve ever been to. And it’s absolutely FREE! So of course, I want to encourage you to register for the spring edcamp called EdCampNOVA.  It’s on May 4 at…O’Connell High School in Arlington. Does this sound familiar? Nice segway, right? I talk about ideas that John Meehan does in his classes and then he’s helping to host this event next month. If you liked some of the ideas I described earlier, just wait until you get to be in a room with him! So please come check it out, on Saturday, May 4th from 8 – 1.  Here’s the link to the website and to register. Plus, check out this video that describes an edcamp in more detail.

REMINDERS

Before I sign off, I’ve got a few reminders for you.  

If you watch the last 5 episodes from this season (Episodes 13-17) AND come up with a lesson plan from ONE of these episodes you’ll get 5 PD points.  Here’s what you need to do to make sure you get your points:

  1. Submit the form in the description area below telling me what you learned in each episode and add the file with your lesson plan.
  2. Register for the PD Session called “Tech Tuesday PD series” in Teachpoint.

You MUST do BOTH steps in order to get your points.  The form will be available until June 14, 2019.

Also, I want to hear about your favorite technology projects that you’ve done in your classrooms this year and feature them on the last episode of the season!  I can come film you or you can film yourself and send me your video, or… as I know some of you are not thrilled with being on camera, I can record your voice and we’ll show pictures of the project instead!  Connect with me on email or Twitter if you’re interested in sharing! I will need recordings by May 14th.

That’s all for this episode of Tech Tuesday!  Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in two weeks!

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