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25 May 2017

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Students, teachers and the Principal – one team with Kahoot!

Sean Gaillard, Principal of Lexington Middle School and EduHero, shares his awesome story about the power of Kahoot!’ing to promote positivity and collaboration within the classroom.

​“Wanna be on our team?”

Those words from a 7th grade student were the magic words I needed to hear. As a child around that age, I remember the pangs of isolation being one of the last kids to be called for basketball or kickball. This time it was different. I was being asked to join something special. Here I was, an outsider standing as the new principal being invited to join a game of Kahoot!

Sean Gaillard

​New adventure as a principal

Being new to any schoolhouse can be a time of stress, fear and doubt. I am starting a new adventure as the principal for Lexington Middle School. The role of principal carries all kinds of eclectic baggage for many students, teachers and families. As I reach out to learn more about this awesome school community, I look for hooks or entry points to build relationships. Any kind of introductory hook can serve as a doorway for a principal to help build and sustain a positive school culture.

​Getting to know the students through Kahoot!’ing

The invitation to participate in the Kahoot! activity was akin to jamming with The Beatles. I immediately sat down with my four new bandmates in the 7th Grade Social Studies Class I was visiting. Mr. Kelly, the teacher on deck, smiled at me and began to set up the game. Students were tasked with reviewing for an upcoming test on the United States and the Cold War. Students excitedly gathered in teams. Conversation centered around logging in and the ever-important task of naming their respective teams.

One of the students asked again what my name and I answered in delight. We decided to take the first initial of our names and combine them in our team moniker known as the “GTGT Squad.” How joyful is this? I am invited in a team by the students I was going to serve and we now had a name!

The infectious groove of the Kahoot! lobby music began. I started nodding my head in beat to the joyful rhythms. Students noticed my head bobbing in time and began to groove along with me.

Sean Gaillard, Principal and positivity enthusiast

Classroom as a community of excitement and collaboration

The infectious groove of the Kahoot! lobby music began. I started nodding my head in beat to the joyful rhythms. Students noticed my head bobbing in time and began to groove along with me. Smiles filled the room. The classroom became a community of excitement, positivity and collaboration. We faced each question in a way that in which each student could demonstrate their learning in an unabashed way. It was obvious that a classroom culture had been established where students were encouraged and uplifted… Teams were immersed in learning and sharing their knowledge on the concepts of the Cold War. Simply put, I had fun and so did the students.

Building a culture of positivity at school with Kahoot!

The Kahoot! Review Activity served to be a powerful entry point for me as principal and lead learner for my new school community. I now have a reference point to share with students. Kahoot! allowed our students to see their new principal in a human light. My hope is that they saw that I could be an advocate for them and that I was truly joy-filled by their learning.

Most importantly, this Kahoot! Mini-classroom adventure will prove to be a lense for which our school can continue to build upon the foundation of positive and inviting culture where learning is creative, engaging and upbeat.

The schoolhouse must be place where positivity is the given for a culture that serves and support all students. Kahoot! Is the dynamic template which consistently proves to uplift a school’s culture. Adding the necessary ingredients of a positive teacher who believe in kids with a tool that engages in the right social and academic spots, Kahoot is that ace tool for igniting a positive culture and bringing joy in the schoolhouse.

Thanks to Sean Gaillard for sharing his experiences with the Kahoot! community.

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