Play Kahoot! and Downplay the Time Factor

Lisa Bejarano and her apprentice teacher Eric recently shared insight on work-arounds while students play Kahoot! for math.  I loved reading these ideas, as those of us who have used Kahoot! in math class may have experienced the following:

  • Students making a fast choice without reading the choices at all
  • Students getting caught up in the leaderboard MORE than the MATH
  • Students feeling unnecessary pressure because the clock is ticking

However… I’d be willing to bet you may have ALSO experienced the following:

  • Students communicating mathematics, arguing and justifying their choices
  • Students realizing and fixing math misconceptions in real time
  • Students engaged and having a whole lot of fun

For me, the positives outweigh the negatives here if we’re intentional and strategic… as we should be for every tool, high-tech or no-tech, eh?  Lisa and Eric’s clever work-arounds make Kahoot! an effective platform in math class, and I’d love to piggy-back on their ideas with a few more, including Kahoots! that you can use or tweak for your own students.

Build in reflection time

I like to pose more in-depth math questions by using TWO questions in the Kahoot! platform.

QUESTION 1: Consider giving students the maximum time allotted (120 seconds) and creating answer choices that aren’t ANSWERS, but are reflection statements about confidence in one’s solution, or method choices for solving the problem.  Make this initial question worth zero points.

Then, in QUESTION 2, provide a shorter timeframe for students to choose an answer for the VERY SAME QUESTION.  Since the teacher ultimately controls the pacing, even when students need more than 120 seconds, delay advancing to the next question as long as needed.  Consider having discussions before providing students with the opportunity to see the answer choices.

Example: Algebra: Write a Linear Function

Example: Algebra: Solve Linear Equations in One Variable


Keep the math visual

Visual math ideas work BEAUTIFULLY within the Kahoot! platform.

Asking students to identify and interpret attributes of graphs can serve as a great pre-assessment, mid-lesson check-for-understanding, exit-ticket… you name it!  Students feel confident that they can complete visual tasks in a shorter timeframe, so they work well within the platform.

Example: Algebra: Graphing Linear Systems

Example: Algebra: Attributes of Quadratic Functions


Use Socratic Questioning to TEACH concepts

Rather than use Kahoot! as a “quiz” or “assessment”, consider using it as a platform for posing questions that guide students to understand concepts incrementally.

Here’s an example that helps students visualize the difference of two squares by asking strategic questions, combining the questions with meaningful visuals, and scaffolding concepts along the way.  Teach by asking questions that include EVERY student, and have discussions before advancing to the next question.

Example – Algebra: Difference of Two Squares 


Use multiple questions to “chunk” multi-step concepts

Rather than ask students to cut-to-the chase and solve a problem within the Kahoot! platform, ask about one concept at a time, making each question a building-block toward a greater goal.

Example – Algebra: Systems of Linear Inequalities

Example – Algebra: Solve Quadratic Equations


Do you use Kahoot! in math class?

What are some additional tips you have to use Kahoot! more effectively?

Please share in the comments!

Check out other creative strategies for effectively using Kahoot in math class shared by Laura Wheeler here.

AND… Scroll up to check out TEKS-aligned math Kahoots in the sidebar for both Algebra 1 and Math 8! —>

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6 Responses to Play Kahoot! and Downplay the Time Factor

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