Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Classroom Response Systems!

Classroom Response Systems (CRS) are a great way to increase student participation and promote active learning in the classroom. Students can submit answers to questions anonymously via some sort of "clicker". A CRS is not only interactive, it's downright fun! I love them because the students do not feel pressure about getting the right answer, plus the students are provided with immediate feedback. You can use a response system, across subject areas, to activate prior knowledge, maintain student attention throughout a lesson or assess comprehension of a concept after the lesson.

Kahoot!: If you're looking for FUN, this is the option for you. Angela and I recently taught a class about personalized learning, and one of the men in our class introduced us to Kahoot! He created a question set and our class had a ball answering the questions on our own device. Teachers can create quick quizzes/surveys or more in-depth questions. The best part of Kahoot! is that the question sets are easy to make and even easier to respond to. When you launch Kahoot! on your classroom whiteboard, students go to kahoot.it, enter their game pin and start playing! They can do this from any device (iPad, iPod, Chromebook, laptop, etc.) There is no need for kids to create an account to play. Students can take on the leadership role by creating their own Kahoots! to share with fellow classmates. Teachers can use the formative assessments to track student understanding and differentiate instruction accordingly. This game-based learning is highly engaging and a ton of fun for students and teachers! It can be timed, untimed, and they have other options, too, to truly differentiate the learning for your students (we all have those kiddos that take a little longer to process that this could be frustrating for otherwise!) Use this at your next PD and your teachers will have a ball!

Senteo Interactive Response System: I have had a set of these "clickers" in my classroom for years. The kids love using them. SMART Notebook allows you to create question pages within a SMART Notebook file. Students can play anonymously or with a log in option. SMART Exchange also allows you to download a variety of question sets all ready for classroom use.

ExitTicket: This was another great "find" from teaching our class this summer! This app is available through the Google Chrome Store and iTunes. In order to respond students need their own technology. Classroom teachers can create question sets for their students and share them with colleagues. As students answer, their responses are tracked without importing or exporting data. They have different types of question sets depending on the teacher's need. I have not personally used ExitTicket yet, but will definitely be playing around with this option this year.

Do you use a classroom response system with your students? If so, share your thoughts, tips, tricks or favorite ideas! If this is a new idea for you, give it a try. You won't be disappointed!

~ Kate

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