Monthly Archives: January 2015

Socrative

SocrativeI use Socrative as one of my formative assessment tools.  It’s very easy to use and you can have a quiz ready to go in minutes.  When other teachers come to me and want to get started with online formative assessment, this is the tool I start with.

Pros: You can easily share quizzes with other teachers, you can use graphics in the question portion (but not the answer portion), you can randomize the order of the questions and the answer choices, and you can choose to give students instant feedback. It provides quick reports to help evaluate the data from your assessment.  Socrative can be accessed on smart phones, tablets and computers by going to the website. You can print a quiz from Socrative for students who don’t have a device.  It also has a game component called Space Race that the student think is fun.

Cons: The students enter their names each time, so you can’t have accumulated data for a single student.  Students will sometimes enter a name that is not theirs.  If you are providing instant feedback ,they will take it once under a false name to get the answers, then log back in with their own name to take the quiz.  It also doesn’t handle graphics as well as I want, sometimes enlarging them to the point that it’s hard to see them.  I did contact Socrative about this issue and they are working to improve the graphics component.  Since my content is math, I need to use equations or at least have the option to capture equations as images and post them as answer choices.  Socrative isn’t there yet.

Socrative is good for a quick exit ticket and instant feedback.  When I use it at the beginning of class, I can see where I need to clear up misconceptions from the class period before.  When used at the end of class, I can see where students missed instruction and begin with that next time.

Give Socrative a try and let me know what you think.

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Plickers

Our building focus this year is to incorporate exit slips into our daily routine.  There are so many really awesome programs and apps available that will grade and compile data for you.  Over the next few day, I plan to share some of the programs I have tried and found helpful (or fun)!

PlickersPlickers blew up on Twitter not long ago, so I had to see what the fuss was about.  This program definitely falls into the fun category.  I don’t use it every day, but it is a fun way to quickly assess vocabulary or a skill. I have tried this when students need to calculate and it doesn’t work as well.

Plickers uses the plickers.com website and an app for Apple or Android devices.  Students have a unique QR code and hold it up with the letter (ABC or D) facing up and the teacher scans the codes using a phone or tablet.  It instantly reads the answers and displays the results on the screen.  You can assign a card to a student and review the results later.  It doesn’t have the best reporting system and it doesn’t compile data for you.  It is fun and the students love seeing their name pop up on the screen when I scan their card.

Plickers 2This is a screen shot from a one question assessment I used to introduce my PD session in January.

Give Plickers a try.  I have quite a few teachers in my school who have tried this and they are also hooked!

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Notebooking Switch

At semester, my Algebra 1 team decided to switch from interactive notebooks to note sheets.  We had received a lot of complaints from students and parents about spending time “gluing” in a high school classroom.  I loved notebooking, and it makes me sad to switch, but I want what best fits my students learning needs.  I’m still incorporating some parts of the interactive notebook and I will still try to use foldables and other interactive tools and just hole punch them and keep them in the binder.

One of my favorite parts of our notebook is the title page for the chapter.  We have our students track their own data for data teams, reflect over their mid-test formative assessment and create a goal for the unit.

Chapter 5 Title Page

I included some graphical elements into our note pages to make them more interesting. The note sheets below are for our quadratic unit.

Quadratic Note Sheets

So far our students like the “glue free” note sheets, and we haven’t had any complaints from parents about them.  Win-win!Name

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