Festive days, busy days! As the holiday break is just around the corner, teachers get extra creative turning up the fun in their classes this month. A few educators representing four different countries told us about all the awesome pre-Christmas activities they came up with. Teaser: it seems Kahoot! challenges are a hot hit this holiday season! 😉
Students collaborate on one massive quiz
Jack Quinn, science teacher from TX, U.S.:
“This holiday season, I’m observing a few recurring themes: students want to play more games, administrators want to get student data, while teachers strive for more time, as things get busy. Here’s how I tackle all three with one activity:
I present students with a model test question such as “Which idea is best supported by the picture?” and ask them to create their own quiz questions based on the model. To make things more interesting, I keep an anchor chart with common tricks of the test maker’s trade. For example, putting good answers before great ones, the old switcheroo (using “Except/But” at the end of an “All” statement), providing similar-looking answer choices that vary by a single word.
Then, we compile the questions, play through them and discuss. Students take pride in coming up with the toughest questions, and being able to answer others’ questions. As a result, we have a targeted, rigorous collaborative quiz that can be showcased worldwide and played as a challenge at home. Pulling data is easy too, I simply download and share the kahoot results.”
Gearing up for visual learning and Christmas challenges
Manel Trenchs, art history teacher from Spain:
“It wasn’t that long ago when seeing mobile phones in a classroom gave me a headache. Today, however, I find mobile indispensable for students. One of the best things is that it helps to expand learning outside the classroom and allows students to learn in their own pace. This is the reason why Kahoot! challenges can be so powerful when school is off, for example, during Christmas.
I teach art history, so the visual aspect is very important when I come up with assignments for my learners. I created an activity “Past into Present”: students have to find relationships between what they can see in their daily lives with artworks. Based on these art links, I’ll create kahoots and also ask my students to create their own.”
Video – one of the top trends of 2017
Terje Pedersen, English and social studies teacher from Norway:
“Pre-Christmas days are festive, but busy too. I try to bring more fun into complex topics. Right now we’re studying the American Revolution, and students are assigned with writing essays based on role cards. Then, they’ll create a short a film on the same topic and we’ll have a feedback session with everyone in class. We collaborate with several history mentors from the U.S.: students can contact them with questions about their assigned roles.
Speaking of collaboration, I think the use of video as a communication tool at school has been one of the top trends this year. We have several international projects running, so video makes it easier to work together across distance.
This month, we’re also very excited to use more of Kahoot! mobile app. My learners are very inspired by it: they enjoy a bit of competition after class and feel very motivated to play challenges several times and improve their scores.”
Don’t stop Kahoot!’ing even during holidays
Steve Sherman, math and science teacher from South Africa:
“Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, mainly because it is during our summer holidays and it is also the end of the academic year in South Africa. This means that there are no formal classes to run Kahoot!, but this has never stopped us before! We are planning some kahoots for the holidays at a few summer camps and some family kahoots too.
A special activity this December was participating in the Hour of Code, and it was lots of fun! In 2017, I’ve seen a large focus on coding as an essential skill for students. Also, we recently participated in the Kahoot! Cup, an international skype-a-thon arranged by innovative educator Steve Auslander. The theme of the quiz was pop culture. When the winners were announced, many students pointed out how much popular culture we share and how similar we all are around the world. This year I’ve also seen a massive uptake in global collaboration.”