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Teacher story: Interactive Kahoot!-based reading assignments have boosted student participation

5th grade teacher Jennifer Van Blair is really creative with using various media formats in her online classes! Read how she uses videos, Kahoot! slides and challenges to engage learners with interactive reading assignments at home and during the lessons.

September 1, 2021

Since March last year, Jennifer van Blair has been teaching her 5th graders remotely most of the time. Thankfully, she was well prepared as she was already using several EdTech tools – including Kahoot! In this story, she shares how she leveraged different media formats, Kahoot! slides, question types and the challenge mode to shake up reading assignments and make them more interactive. Fantastic idea, Jennifer!

Kahoot! has always been much more than an assessment and review tool for me. I’ve been actively using it to teach, and it’s been extremely helpful when my entire class has been fully remote.

I teach reading to 5th graders, and I was looking for new ways to make read aloud assignments more interesting and engaging. Being one on one with their textbooks at home isn’t much fun for students! Here’s a solution I came up with by using Kahoot! for interactive teaching and assignments:

5 steps to creating an interactive reading assignment with Kahoot!

  1. I record myself reading the text over video in several parts. Then, I upload the videos to YouTube.
  2. I create a kahoot with several slides. In each slide, I embed one of the videos of me reading the story aloud.
  3. Each slide is followed with a few questions about the reading. I make sure to include poll questions that we’ll go back to during the lesson in order to start a discussion.
  4. I assign the kahoot as a student-paced challenge. In the reports section, I can see who completed the assignment and which questions were the most difficult.
  5. During our lesson via Zoom, we go back to the poll questions, and that’s a great starting point for a discussion!

Student participation is the top priority

It’s really important to me that more students participate and complete the reading. Using Kahoot! gets students excited and motivated! I don’t grade their performance – the main thing is that they participate.

I’ve seen a higher rate of completion when we’ve switched to this kahoot-based format. With the reading group, I usually get 15 submissions. When I used a Kahoot! challenge for the assignment, I got 20!

After I did it the first time, I found out that the students were a bit anxious about the timer. The next time, I maxed out the question timer to 4 minutes and the student enjoyed the challenge much more. It’s very helpful that it’s also possible to completely turn off the timer in a challenge!

Turn off the timer on a student-paced Kahoot! challenge

Developing discussion skills and critical thinking

As I mentioned, I always include poll questions in these types of kahoots. I will ask learners what they thought about a particular moral dilemma in the reading. For example, the boy in the story stole a locket. I will use a poll question to ask students what they think about that.

It’s a great starting point for a discussion. Poll questions keep them engaged with the story and allow them to reflect on what they’re reading, not just read it. It’s not just about comprehension, but also getting them to think about what they read.

Inspired by Jennifer’s story? Try this type of interactive assignment with your students! Slides and student-paced challenges are available for all K-12 teachers for free. In Kahoot! Pro and up, you can gain access to more slide layouts, poll question type, and more.

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