Friday, February 24, 2017

Kindergarten Kahoot!

I first learned about Kahoot! when my high school sons were reviewing for an upcoming test in school.  They told me they reviewed in class using this app on their phones, and felt pretty good about knowing the material.  Then a few months later, while I was attending a training, Kahoot! was utilized to check our learning, too.  It "gamefied" the material for better understanding, and gave immediate feedback, which is always great for the classroom. We logged into the game with our cell phones.  I loved it!  It's not surprising that Kahoot's tagline is "Make Learning Awesome".

I wasn't sure how kindergarten could use it, but I soon found out through Google searches that yes, indeed, some quizzes exist that are kindergarten friendly.  And I jumped in!

Kahoot!  is a free game-based platform that makes it fun to learn.  The website has a catalog of ready-made and teacher-made quizzes, or you can make your own.  As of now, I've not tried to make my own, but have a list of about a dozen that I can pull up and get started.  So far we've tried quiz activities for beginning sounds, ending sounds, rhyming, spelling, addition, subtraction, ten frames, and even dental health.

To play Kahoot! with the class, each student uses a device - could be an iPad, Chromebook, Android device, or a cell phone.  My classroom is 1:1, but a shared version of the game is always an option, or kids can play as a team and pass the device for each turn.  Students enter the on-screen code, enter their name, and when all students have joined the game, we get started.

The game works a lot like the trivia games you might see in restaurants.  The multiple choice answers are shown on the smart board (or your teacher computer), and the student device has 4 symbols and colors displayed with answer choices.  The clock runs down, and students choose their answer and get feedback if they are correct.  The top five students are shown on the "leader board", and points are awarded based on how quickly they chose.  At the end of the quiz, Kahoot! gives the option to download a spreadsheet of scores and questions missed.  This is a list of some recent quizzes we've done and scores I can access.

At first, kids were too competitive about the leader board feature, and some would get upset if their name wasn't listed or got bumped down.  I just tell the kids that I'm not watching for the kids who are the fastest.  I'm watching for the kids who get it right.  Kids get excited to see if they chose the correct answer, keeping them interested in their own academic progress. It's a great way to informally assess the students for lots of concepts!

I hope you decide to try this fun and engaging game-based learning and response tool with your class.  It holds kids accountable and gives them a voice in their learning.  My students often ask when we get to play again, so I'm thinking I could set a goal for myself and do a Kahoot! experience every Friday.  Click HERE for another explanation of the program. Click HERE for an article with links to kindergarten friendly Kahoot quizzes.