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17 Jan 2016

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Kahoot of the day: Periodic table mania

We’ve come across an awesome science kahoot for chemistry geeks and college students, filled with fun ways to learn the ins and outs of basic physical chemistry, or to refresh knowledge before exams. Let’s take a look…

That’s right, periodic table mania. The aptly named “Atomic Structure and Periodic Table Mania” by JenKrug makes learning chemistry fun – here’s how…

1. The wording of the question is critical!

Peppered throughout this awesome Periodic Table kahoot are questions that sound almost the same, but aren’t. How well were your chemistry students paying attention? Can they remember which Periodic table was based on atomic number versus the one based on atomic mass?

TOP TIP: Questions like these are a neat little prompt to stop and refresh your learners’ knowledge about atomic mass and atomic number, and the significance of the Periodic Table layout itself.

Periodic table

Periodic table

2. Smart use of special symbols and formatting

OK, so we have to admit we didn’t create our “symbol picker” with electron arrangements front of mind… so seeing this Chemistry teacher use arrows in the answers was a nice little surprise!

TOP TIP: For math and science kahoots, you’re gonna love the symbol picker and formatting tools! Click in any text area and you’ll be able to add superscripts, subscripts, special symbols and foreign characters.

3. Everyday chemistry examples

With complex notation and all this talk of sub-atomic particles, it can be really hard for some students to get their head around chemistry – it just doesn’t feel real. One of the best tricks is to keep bringing it back to real life examples whenever possible.

For example, you might make thermodynamics more accessible just by chatting with the class (in plain English!) about what’s actually happening at a subatomic level as your cup of coffee cools down. This Kahoot!’er used an easy question about everyday chemical mixtures to make basic chemistry a little more tangible.

Periodic table

Top tip for adapting this kahoot: Break it up!

We absolutely love this kahoot, and our resident chemist claims that she learned more about the Periodic Table through one game than she did in her whole first year at university. But… it’s very long, which (depending on how it’s used) could run the risk of pressure or disengagement rather than joy and active learning. We’d really like to see kahoots like this broken up into three or four bite-sized games.

When creating kahoots, think of every single question as an opportunity to learn something. With each question, there is an opportunity for students to refresh their understanding, for the teacher to spot gaps in knowledge, for the class to discuss why they answered in a particular way, and even to go over the basics for a certain subject again.

When kahoots are longer than 10-15 questions and you’re truly using every question as a learning opportunity, everyone starts to feel under a little pressure to rush through. Instead, create short and focused kahoots with some breathing space and the kahoot with be both more fun and more impactful.

Your challenge!

First, go back to the kahoots you’ve created and find one you think is a little too long. Or, if you don’t have one of your own to work with, you can search for a really long but otherwise beautifully crafted kahoot in your favourite subject – you can use our Trending lists as a shortcut, or use quirky keywords in the search to find something cool.

Now, create a perfect little kahoot series based on that one long kahoot. Using the Periodic Table kahoot as an example, here’s how you might break a 32-question kahoot into 4 bite-sized kahoots:

1. Duplicate the same kahoot 4 times.

2. Change the title of each duplicate so that you and other Kahoot!’ers recognise them later as part of a series, e.g. Periodic Table Part 1.

3. Edit the first kahoot, deleting all but the first 8 questions, and save.

4. Edit the second kahoot, deleting the first 8 questions and the last 16 questions, and save.

5. And repeat, until you’ve got 4 kahoots without any overlapping questions. You’ve now got yourself a Periodic Table series.

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