How do you Kahoot? Here’s a new idea!

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Unless you been completely off the ed tech grid in the last few years, you obviously know the engaging power of Kahoot. There’s something about the platform that turns the simple concept of answering multiple choice questions into the final minute of a close national championship football game – tension, excitement, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, and it’s always LOUD! From elementary level learners to my undergraduate method students, I’ve seen Kahoots have students on the edge of their seats, excited to display their knowledge (and crush their classmates). While I don’t have any statistical data to back this up, I predict that most teachers are using Kahoot either as a formative assessment or to review content, right before a test or quiz. However, I think it can be used for much more than the quick review game – how about the foundation of an entire flipped lesson?

I’ve used Kahoots as a structure for in-depth discussions about historical content, based on an essential question and focusing on learning targets. If you flip your class, this is a great way to process the content students have examined at home. It also could be an awesome method of providing skill review for students, especially in the area visual literacy.

To give you an idea about how this progresses, imagine you are in a LOUD 8th grade American Studies class, checking out the ins and outs of the Reconstruction era. The essential question is “Was Reconstruction a success or failure?”, while the learning target is “I can discuss and evaluate the short term and long term impact of Reconstruction”.  

The experience begins with the preparation, as students are asked to examine a reading, video(s), series of websites, articles, or a combination of all three, all with learning targets in mind. Students should be provided focus questions or topics, not specific literal questions.  In my experience, I have students take notes in the form of an applicable graphic organizer (usually rooted to the EQ or target), or in any manner of their choosing.  The flipped goal is to give them a broad base of knowledge about the content, and then we make sense of it in class.

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Class proceeds with a Kahoot based on the flipped content, but designed to dig deeper, answer any questions, and continually focus on an EQ or target.  I enjoy using the Team Kahoot function for this, letting students discuss the content and learn from each other.  It’s always fun to have them develop content based nicknames for their teams.  I also try to get the students moving by rearranging their seats after every four questions, putting them in rank order (thanks to Jason Bretzmann for that pearl).

In between Kahoot questions, I probe for opinions, dig deeper into the content, utilize various tabs on the SmartBoard to share cool content and relevant links to today, categorize information, and use response systems like Plickers for a quick formative assessment.  As we progress, students can add to their notes, ask questions out loud or in another form (back channel chat, online board …), and make observations about the content, all relating to the focus of the content.  A 10-15 question Kahoot can form the structure for an entire class, with students focusing on the content similar to a traditional lecture, but engaging, discussing, interacting, categorizing, reflecting, and moving – and having a ton more fun while doing so.

How do I assess their understanding? You name it! Assessment could be an exit ticket, an PollEverywhere post, a response on a Google form, even an email from their parents stating they discussed the question at dinner – or a student choice! My goals are for my students to be engaged with the content, think about an essential question, and hit a learning target – and Kahoot has been a great platform (in doses) to accomplish these.

I’m sure you use Kahoot in other awesome ways – please share yours! Tweet them on the Twitter thang, and add @chucktaft to your post.  Much obliged … and keep Kahooting!

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