Sunday, March 8, 2015

Kahoot! It's a Hoot!

Okay, I found a new favorite FREE website! This site is so easy, so fun, and so useful!  Not to mention, it's addicting!  A colleague that teaches 7th grade mentioned using Kahoot in his class earlier in the week. I had never heard of it.  So of course, I went home that night and decided to look it up and see what it was. Boy, am I glad I did!  I immediately signed up for a free membership and quickly made a fifteen question review activity for my kiddos on the Loch Ness Monster.  When I say quickly, I mean in less than 30 minutes, with pictures, and it was my first one!  Easy!  I was so excited, I could barely wait until school the next day so I could test it out on my kids. Let's just say, they asked if they could skip recess and play Kahoot again!  I think they liked it.

So what exactly is Kahoot?
* A free game-based classroom response system
* Web-based, access from anywhere
* Teacher created quizzes with up to four multiple choice answers
* Questions are displayed on the projector
* Students respond via their own device
* Students gain Kahoot points for correct and timely responses

You can search the Kahoot data base for tons of quizzes that are already created, or make your own.  It's easy.  You start out by creating a new Kahoot and giving it a title.

Then it walks you through adding questions one at a time and inserting a graphic.  You don't have to, they'll add a graphic for you, but I just opened a new tab, googled an image I wanted and quickly added pictures of Nessie into my Kahoot. Then you type in 2-4 answer choices and designate the correct answer. That's it. Do that for as many questions as you want and you're pretty much done.  Also, you can easily share with colleagues via email or through their Kahoot usernames.

When you're ready to play the game, sign in at and go to the My Kahoots tab at the top of the page.  Then watch as the fun begins!

Open up the link of the game you want to play by clicking the play button on your computer.  You'll get a couple of options to set up your game.  When you've made your choices, click Launch to begin.

Then project the image to your board. The kids will get directions to connect to and enter a specific code. This works on iPads, iPods, tablets, phones, Chromebooks, pretty much anything that has internet connection. The players will choose a nickname and join the game. They have fun with this, especially when they're playing as a team. As they join it will let you know on your teacher screen how many players or teams are connected. When everyone's in, just click Start Now and watch the kids excitement grow.

The screen you project will show the question and answer choices while playing super cool game show music. The kids' screens will only show the shape and color buttons that represent the answer choices. They select their answer and click on it on their screen.

This is the projected image.

This is what the student voting screen looks like.
Then they wait until everyone has answered or the time - up to 30 seconds - is up. The projected screen will then tell them the correct answer.  It also tells them on their own screens if they got the answer correct, how many points they have accumulated, and who they rank behind or other important ranking information.

When you click the Next button on your teacher screen it will show rankings and Kahoot points.  Yes, they earn Kahoot points for correct and speedy answers.  And they want those Kahoots! The projected screen shows the top players and this changes quickly!  The kids love this.

Sure, as you may expect, you have some of your expected students at the top - your over-achievers and top-of-the-class students, but surprisingly, about half of the time, my leader board was topped by some of my struggling students!  I'm not sure if this is because they are more computer oriented than classroom instruction oriented or what - but it gave them a huge confidence boost and everyone was engaged.  So get Kahooting!  It's fun!