For many of my students, all of the high-stakes testing has passed, and sadly that fact brings daily comments like the following:
“Can we just not do anything today?”
“Are we going to, like, actually LEARN something new today?”
“Is this the last homework assignment we’re going to have this year?”
“So what ARE we going to do in class the last week of school?”
“I have an idea! Let’s just watch Kid Snippets the rest of the year!” (This suggestion was actually quite tempting…)
My answer is always the same, delivered with a grin.
“Learning never stops.”
There’s still plenty of learning to do, and holding students accountable for this learning is key to having successful last-few-weeks of school. “Accountable” can mean traditional assignments like quizzes, tests, and homework, but a healthy competition with Kahoot is also quite effective… especially with the GHOST MODE feature.
Before I share specifically about GHOST MODE, I like to add a disclaimer: In math class, use Kahoot carefully. Not all math should be speedy. We don’t want to make kids feel unnecessary anxiety or reinforce that fast math = you’re good at math. However let’s not throw out a tool that KIDS LOVE. As with all tools, using Kahoot when appropriate can be very effective, and kids don’t always realize they’re learning because it’s just SO MUCH FUN. (P.S. There are well over TWO MILLION Kahoots available in the Public Kahoots section – have a look! I’ve shared a few at the end of this post as well.) Content assessed, in my opinion, should be mostly at-a-glance stuff, like:
What is the solution to this linear system? (provide a graph or a pair of tables of values and four sets of ordered pairs as answer choices)
Simplify: -24 (provide choices that force misconceptions to the surface)
If you’ve Kahooted before, you know the drill. Students join the game on their devices using a PIN that’s generated on the spot, they ring in their answer choices for each question, a bar graph shows students’ responses, and then… the coveted LEADER BOARD showing the top 5 scores fills the screen, bringing mass chaos to the classroom. Love it.
The game ends, and a winner is established – yay! “Would we improve if we played the same game… again? What if I told you we’re going to play the same game… against our virtual selves? GHOSTS, if you will?” Select “Feedback & results” and then “Final results”.
Select “Play again”. Seriously, no one will complain about whether or not we’re “actually going to LEARN something”…
Now, the class will appear to have twice as many bodies in it.
That’s because all of the students are playing in real time against their virtual selves who played the previous game. It’s true! Their virtual selves each ring in at the precise moment of Game 1, while in real time, students are desperately trying to improve their score in Game 2. No one wants to lose to a GHOST, especially their OWN GHOST!
At this point, I can attempt to describe the energy in the room. I can even post photos, or share this Storify with you. But nothing I share here will do the experience justice. You seriously have to give this a go.
Don’t tell students ahead of time that you’re going to activate GHOST MODE. And once students know GHOST MODE may be a possibility, you’ll probably want to collect all scrap paper and provide some new work space to avoid the “clever ones”. They’re the kids who write down absolutely NO MATH during Game 1, but have a sheet of scrap paper full of shapes. Nice try, buddy. #CheatersSometimesWin
Here are several Kahoots I’ve used recently – some I create, while others are Public Kahoots shared by educators around the globe!
For some additional (and REALLY clever) ideas for using #ghostmode, click here.