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Activate, review, engage, reward: rethinking learning with Kahoot!

How will we inspire and educate young minds in the future? Passionate and dedicated English teacher Laura Steinbrink has cool new ways to rethink learning and engage young minds.

January 10, 2019

Two years ago, I attended a press conference where Kahoot! was presented by one of the speakers. It looked fun, but the questions flew by quickly and I couldn’t answer as fast as others. And I am highly competitive! So I didn’t immediately use it in the classroom.

Thank goodness my colleague, Kim Belleisle, kept telling me how amazing it was for learning vocabulary and reviewing tests with her 6th graders! Still, I put it on the shelf of interesting things that I thought were too “childish” for high school students.

Until one day, a senior student who was an A+ tutor, asked me why I wasn’t using it. Surprised, I asked, “Do you want to use it in mythology?” “YES!” he replied. And when I told him it seemed too childish for our class, he emphatically claimed it was NOT. So, I looked into it…. and was hooked for life! Here’s how Kahoot! helped me rethink our learning process.

What’s in Kahoot! for teachers

Soon, Kahoot! became the first thing I did every day to review material from previous classes. I took an old school practice, anticipatory set, which is a brief lesson given at the very beginning to get students’ attention, activate prior knowledge, and prepare them for the day’s learning. I combined this activity with the Kahoot! engagement tool. Suddenly, the majority of students seemed engaged and paid more attention!

I now completely see the value of Kahoot as a way to engage, review, expand, and make learning fun.

I’m constantly striving to find ways students can collaborate, enjoy the learning, and get connected with their classmates. I now completely see the value of Kahoot as a way to engage, review, expand, and make learning fun. But is that the only way I can use it? Nope. Just to name a few:

  • Kahoot! makes it easy to review material covered from the previous classes
  • Gets students more engaged and attentive during class
  • I can pause to offer instruction wherever we see a need based on the responses
  • Kahoot! works great as a reward activity and I combine it with actual small prizes, such as bubble gum, for example.

What’s in Kahoot! for students

Using Kahoot! in combination with other learning models (which I’ll cover in my next post) when students collaborate with each other, in addition to playing, proved to be very powerful. We’re tapping into a wide range of skills – and we’re just scratching the surface! (Some of these will be explained in the next article.)

  • dual coding
  • interviewing skills
  • learning to prepare good questions and answers
  • basic email skills when doing their research
  • so much more!

Kahoot! teaches kids to ask good questions

Last year, I asked students to create “All About Me” kahoots. They were to come up with 10 questions and answers about themselves that they felt others in the class would not already know and then turn the link to the quiz in to Google Classroom. Students enjoyed learning about other students and quickly began to value asking good, creative questions.

Playing these student-led kahoots helps my learners to get to know each other on a deeper level and creates a collaborative and safe atmosphere for learning.

Combining Kahoot! with other learning models for maximum impact

As an educator who continually strives to find new ways to use familiar tools, I became interested in the book, The EduProtocol Field Guide: 16 Student-Centered Lesson Frames for Infinite Learning Possibilities, by Marlena Hebern and Jon Corippo. EduProtocols are customizable frames that use your content to create lessons to help students master academic content. One of the things they present in the book is Frayer a Friend, which is a fun way to introduce the Frayer model and have students use it in different ways, such as getting to know their friends. I combined this model with Kahoot! – and the results were awesome!

Stay tuned for my next article to learn more about using Kahoot! and Frayer a Friend together for fun and impactful classroom collaboration.

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