I first played Kahoot! in a staff meeting several years ago. As is true for most icebreakers, I internally rolled my eyes. However, upon joining the Kahoot! with my colleagues, I found the game format enthralling, competitive, and even laughter-inducing. Since that staff meeting, using Kahoot! in my middle school math class has been on normal rotation. It has helped to gamify content, practice vocabulary, and serves as a fun way to review.
Gamifying Math Creates Interest and Engagement
Fast forward to 2020 and the onset of distance learning. Once my students settled into the groove, I wanted something that would make them excited to log in to my Google Meet. We gave Kahoot! a try one day during the first fifteen minutes of class, and it was an instant winner. My students were excited to compete against each other, and it felt comfortable to do an activity that they were familiar with in this new, uncomfortable distance learning world. Once we played a few “just for fun” games (I am still apt to play “Music Through the Decades” Kahoots! on Fun Fridays!), I began trying to integrate the platform into my math lessons to keep the interest going.
Students Can Preview and Review Math Concepts
It’s now March, and I’ve found several ways to use Kahoot! on a weekly basis for academic purposes (not just for random music and movie trivia … I promise). Kahoot! can front-load vocabulary, check for understanding midway through a chapter, or serve as a review before a test. Before I begin a new domain – Expressions and Equations, for example – I choose a pre-made Kahoot! that has key vocabulary for the upcoming unit (inequality, isolate, variable, reciprocal, etc.), and students begin to learn the vocabulary, all while playing a game.
If you are unable to find a pre-made Kahoot! that suits your needs, you can always create an account and make one yourself. Check out this article for more Kahoot! tips and tricks.
Allow Them To Practice at Their Own Pace
Another way I enjoy using Kahoot! is to check-in midway through a unit or review before a test. I use a mix of questions about specific vocabulary and problems that students will need to work out and solve. Though some students thrive on the competitive nature of the Kahoot!, I recognize that some students (myself included) would prefer to work at their own pace and focus on working through the problems without the pressure of moving higher up the leaderboard.
Kahoot! has a perfect feature for students to practice the same game, but allows them to move through at their own pace. When I launch a new Kahoot!, I post the independent game link in my Google Meet chat, and my independent students can begin right away while the other students join and wait for the competition to start. These two different game modes allow students to practice the same content, but in the way that works the best for them.
Ready-To-Use Math Kahoots!
Here are examples of ready-to-use Kahoots for middle school math that I have used with my students. You can play as a “guest” or login to keep a record of the results. Remember, you can edit any Kahoot! to exactly what you want by duplicating it and making your own copy. I’ve done this often to change the amount of time per question, or to add more questions of my own.
The Number System
- “Compare and Order Rational Numbers”
- “Adding and Subtracting Negative Fractions”
- “Adding Integers with the Same Sign”
- “Subtracting Integers”
- “How Do I Find the Greatest Common Factor GCF”
Expressions and Equations
- “Solving Two-Step Equations”
- “Expressions and Equations One-Step Equations”
- “Order of Operations”
- “One-Step Inequalities Review”
- “Evaluating Algebraic Expressions”
Whether you’re using Kahoot! to launch a new unit or to practice before a test (or to unwind with Disney Songs or Sports on a Friday), your students are sure to enjoy this gamified practice both during distance learning and back in the classroom.