How Cecilia started Kahoot!’ing

Meet Cecilia Arias – part-time math instructor at Rutgers University, STEM trainer for K-12 teachers across New Jersey, and former high school math teacher. In addition to these roles, Cecilia has also been a long-time Kahoot! enthusiast. It started a few years ago when she was introduced to Kahoot! by a fellow math department colleague. Once Cecilia tried it for exam review with her students, she loved how simple it was, and soon she became a true Kahoot! fan.

Why Kahoot!?

As a math and STEM educator, Cecilia pinpoints these things she loves the most about Kahoot!:

  • The ability to incorporate brain-based techniques for studying – i.e., randomizing the order of questions so that students don’t study topics chronologically.
  • The opportunity to boost collaboration with Kahoot!’s Team Mode feature.
  • The way Kahoot! incorporates technology that students already have at hand and are very familiar with, and encourages using it for a clear purpose rather than distraction.
  • Students enjoy using Kahoot! for reviews, and for illustrating what topics may need further review with more time.

Cecilia’s tips for making a great math game with Kahoot!

1) Use time limits wisely

“You have to be thoughtful about the types of math questions you can ask your student with Kahoot! Remember that the maximum amount of time you can set for answering a question is 2 minutes. So, you have to be wise about the types of math questions you ask!

Sometimes vocabulary review and computation questions that aren’t lengthy are better suited. But, as educators, we are inventive and can figure out ways to work around the time limitation if necessary!

The main thing is to not let students get bogged down with the short amount of time they have to answer questions. Math is a subject that needs attention and values precision, so you don’t want to feed into learners’ math anxiety or give them the incorrect impression that math questions should be answered in 2 minutes or less!”

Setting time

2) Plan ahead with longer math questions

“I either give my students some of the information or questions ahead of time so that they’ve done the thinking and are just answering; or sometimes I let them work in pairs so that two brains can work faster than one.

I’ve also tried changing the type of questions so that the ones that are longer to calculate are not as procedural, and include more vocabulary and thinking about the mechanics behind the problem type.”

3) Inject some math humor

All my kahoots are fun and memorable in some sense because I can see the students thinking about the mathematics as they are answering questions and joking about how much they remember (or don’t remember!).

I will say, it worked out really well when I made one of the intro videos of one of my kahoots to review for our final exam the song “Final Countdown” by Europe.

The final countdown logo

What’s YOUR Kahoot! story?

We got in touch with Cecilia via our educator-focused Facebook Community. We love hearing about your Kahoot! experiences! Got some tips or ideas to share? Join our community now and let us know your story!