So What is a Kahoot?
The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should be Using Kahoots in your Classroom
Try it Just Once: You need to try a Kahoot in your classroom just once early in the year. Maybe use a Kahoot to introduce yourself to the class or to quiz them on the procedures of your classroom. Whatever you do, try a Kahoot in the first weeks of school and I guarantee it will not be the last time you do.
Get Some Help: Start by poking around the Kahoot website. Look to see what others have created, and then decide if you want to use or change them to make them your own. There are a lot of really great websites to help you with set up. There are plenty of youtube tutorials that I found helpful. Do yourself a favor and visit this website to see all the ways you can use this technology to bring learning to life in your classroom.
This is Not a Test: While I've heard of teachers using Kahoots as a formal assessment, I would discourage this. There are plenty of other tools out there to measure and record students’ academic performance. Turning this into test could kill some of the energy and excitement around the experience.
Pretest/Posttest: While I do not suggest using Kahoots as formal assessments, giving a quick Kahoot of content prior to a unit of study can provide a valuable snapshot of the students’ overall understanding of the content. Then, at the end of a unit, give the same assessment to compare overall performance. Using “Ghost Mode” for this will allow the students to try and beat their "less educated selves" and will hopefully increase confidence in their overall learning ability.
The Name Game: To start a Kahoot, each student is asked to enter their name, which will be displayed on the scoreboard. This can cause issues when students are sharing a device or when students may want to type an inappropriate name. Before they have the opportunity, I tell students to either enter their and their partners initials or to simply enter their Kindle’s number (each one of my kindles has a label with Helder1, Helder2, Helder3…). This speeds things up and gets you into your Kahoot quickly. If later in the year you want the kids to have fun with silly names, go for it. But I’d hold off for now.
Reinventing the Wheel: Don't feel like you have to create every Kahoot you use from scratch. There are over 8 million different Kahoots currently available online right now. I have found that for most subject areas, there is typically something out there that is already great or close to what I want. Though I use these quite a bit in my classroom, I rarely make my own.
Tailor for the Perfect Fit: The vast majority of Kahoots are great, but not always appropriate or accurate. Before using any Kahoot with your kids, make sure to go through each question to ensure that each is:
2, 4, 6, 8, What Else Can We Integrate?: While you’re editing a Kahoot, think through what else you might integrate into the experience.
Favorites: Within the Kahoot program, users can save their favorite Kahoots for later use. This is great for accessing them later. However, I have enough favorites that I’ve needed to start organizing them somehow. Renaming each Kahoot can help with this. I like to include the subject, unit and then lesson in the title. So if the Kahoot is originally named “Plant Life Cycle,” I suggest renaming it “Science - Plants - Life Cycle” to make it easier to find later.
Sharing is Caring: Create and share Kahoots with colleagues. If you find something or make something great, tell your grade level team. A teacher on my team created both an Old Testament and New Testament review Kahoot that were fantastic. It took almost no effort on my part to bring them up and the kids loved them.
Pair Up: Because I have a 2:1 Kindle Fire program in my classroom, the kids pair up and take turns. While some teachers prefer to have a device for every child, I think there is something so good about having to take turns, let go and work together.
Get Some Help: If you don't have someone in your building who is using Kahoot, there are many really great websites to help you get started. There are plenty of youtube tutorials that I found helpful. Do yourself a favor and visit this website to see all the ways you can use this technology to bring learning to life in your classroom. Finally, check out this pdf below for step by step instructions.
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