All good teachers know that the more we check for understanding the better. What if you could ask every single kid, every single question? With Plickers, you can!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 device: anything from an iPhone to a Tablet
- 1 app: Plicker
- 1 printed Plicker image for each of your students.
**Pro tip: if you use colored card stock and laminate your Plickers, they’ll stay organized and last all year.
Here’s how it works: Each student is given a card with a unique code. The code has four sides, each lettered A, B, C, and D. Students hold their cards so that the letter they choose to answer the question with is at the top of their card. You then use the iOS or Android app on their smartphone to slowly scan the room.
The app recognizes the cards, records who you assigned them to, and captures the answer that the student chose. The app will only record each student’s answer once, so you need not worry about a second scan skewing your data.
Here are six ways to use Plickers to check for understanding:
1. Writing Workshop: Status of the Class
Make sure kids know before writing workshop that a=draft, b=revising, c=conferencing, and d=need ideas. In a silent salute of Plickers, students will let you know where they stand for the day. This will also set up who meets with you for a conference that day or who you need to touch base with to help develop an idea.
2. PE: Target Check
After a lesson on how to check your heart rate, have kids grab a Plicker and let you know how fast their ticker is ticking. a=75-, b=100, c=125, d=150+ Remind them to use their best estimating skills!
3. Math: Discussion Facilitation
Instead of using Plickers in math for one multiple choice question after another, why not start a math conversation by asking a question like:
4. Social Studies: Identify Causes and Outcomes
One of the major learnings about Social Studies is that different things affect outcomes. After learning about a war or particular time period, assess students’ thinking by asking which part of what they learned do they think was the biggest cause? a=event, b=person, c=setting, and d=other
5. Science: Predict or Hypothesis
Set the stage for a lab or experiment and then do a quick check to see what students think will happen. After the lab, you can check to see how many people were correct or incorrect which will allow for a more informed discussion.
6. Music: Name that Note
During music class is the perfect time to check who knows how to identify notes by sight and by sound.
Have you tried Plickers? We’d love to hear about how you are using the app in the comments.
The classroom image at the top of this post is from Plickers.com.