The star of this week lesson is Quizlet live. Quizlet allows students to work and learn together so that they are able to answer the questions correctly [Link] Basically, Quizlet Live make use of gamification mechanics (e.g., instant feedback and competition) to arouse interest and encourage learner engagement. Learner engagement might also be enhanced as students can now facilitate their demonstration of learning with the use of technology openly and publicly to their classmates.
This game is particular suitable if you want your students to remember facts. Essentially, I am trying to introduce the ‘fun’ element in factual fluency. For P5 Science, I use Quizlet Live to recall scientific facts that they are learning now (e.g, water cycle & human reproductive system). As for my 5-Fifteen rascals, they use Quizlet to practice their conversion between decimals and fractions.
The kids are truly engaged as they try to recall the facts and help their team mats. My 5-1 kids even make use of their science word cards as they try to figure out the science facts At the end of the game, the fact that is always ‘missed’ (e.g., most students are getting that fact wrong) would be shown. I will use that to clarify students’ alternative conception.
What about the challenge? Just like Kahoot, kids just want to win and they would be ‘blindly’ clicking away. Moreover, some kids really cannot afford to lose and tend to be over-dramatic when they lose.
So, moving forward, I need to think of ways to address these two issues.
It has been another “kahooty” week for me!
Being encouraged by my students’ enthusiastic response, I am more than willing to spend sometime every night to design questions for them. These questions are definitely not “anyhowly” but questions need to cover their learning gap (for example, I repeated the questions that they did wrongly for their practice paper 1). For this week, I feel a sense of pride when the whole class can get one or two questions all correct. I know some of you might feel that no big deal for that is just a simple question. But, for my class, there is no such thing as simple question. I need to stay positive if I were to keep myself sane! And even more, when they feel “upset” with me as I key in the answers wrongly. Glad that they are thinking and not just simply “anyhowly” clicking.
For this week, I use Kahoot for the first time for my Science class in a slightly different manner. I actually get them to submit their answers to some of the question in the practice paper. I carefully chose the questions so that they can do it within 2 minutes. Their response? Simply awesome! At least, I can see the sense of urgency and really focusing on the questions. If I simply just ask them to do the practice paper, I do not see the intense and fast thinking. Rather, they would “look here” and “look there” and apparently not focused on the work.
Just as a simple tweak to their learning experience with the use of Kahoot change their behaviour almost completely. They are seriously deep in thought and can see some of them having intense conversation with their peers over the answers. When the answer is revealed, I get some of them share their reasoning. It is good to hear that they are actively using elimination method to help them in their MCQ. This helps them in getting the answer in the shortest time. I emphasize that it is not necessary to know everything in the question. The students tend to spend time on things they do not know. Sometimes, with the use of elimination by focusing on what they know, they can get the correct option. This is something I will need to reiterate again next week. It is an important exam technique that they must have.
With the use of practice paper, my students are “complaining” the waste of time as they need to search for the questions. I choose the questions based on “doability for my students” and they are not in an order. For the next round, I will “preempt” them with the questions first by giving them the question order.
Another way in which I use Kahoot for my class is to get them to recall the scientific concepts. I am quite taken about that they have forgotten about their properties of matter (Solid, liquid and gas). The whole class simply cannot answer this question : “Which of the following cannot be compressed?” They absolutely have no idea that I am asking for gas. This is something that I need to work on next week.
I finally manage to clear the syllabus for Mathematics and can now start on the revision. For this week, I decide to use Kahoot to gamify my Mathematics lessons. In the Kahoot Quiz, the questions are typically the 1-marks questions found in Paper 1. I give a timing for each question (ranging for 30s to 90s). This will help them to train for speed and accuracy.
What are my students’ responses? They practically love it and ask for more. But, I need also need to remind them this is for learning and they cannot “anyhowly” key in answers. I like the instant feedback on the responses so that I can address their learning gap.
What is important for me to do now is to analyse their responses and try to come up withe more questions to address their learning gap. I am giving myself a challenge for the use of kahoot quiz. It is not just enough to see my students engage. I need to make use of the data to move my students forward.
Last year , I used Google Form extensively for my P6 Science class [Link]. This year, I also started using with my class but with a twist. Why so ? Because the context is very different. Last year, my Science class was the academically strongest class and most students are reasonably motivated to do well in their studies.
This year, the class I am taking is just the opposite. Knowing where they are in their Science, I know that they would possibly will not try even given the second attempt. It can be just case of “anyhowly” trying as they may simply do not understand the question.
Here are the changes I made:
(1) Answers are provided so that they can know the correct answer straight away. My assumption : They need immediate response or else they will only remember the wrong answer given.
(2) Feedback with video links are provided for the “popular questions”. Students are supposed to copy the feedback on their question paper.
(3) Revisit the top “cannot-make-it” questions. and go through in class
As like last year, there are some students who just wish to get the marks. They are interested in keying in the answers and getting the marks but do not seem too eager to review the feedback. I need to constantly “nag at /scold” them to do it. Perhaps, the eagerness to review the response would level up when exam nears.
So, how does that beat the typical going-through in class? Such technology-enabled activity allows them to do it at their own pace and some of them ask questions (not a lot but at least some really ask). They would also ask their peers for help.
Would I continue with this with my class? Yes, I will but not as frequent as last year. At this stage, I need to focus on building their scientific content. Getting them to do the MCQ, without the science content, might not be too beneficial for them.
This it the first time I am using Space Race in Socrative for my students. In the Space Race , the kids are assigned to different teams. They will get points for their teams if they answer their questions correctly.
I have put up simple Paper 1 questions and get them to do it. During the race, they are deeply engrossed in their work. For those who are done, I encourage them to teach their team-mates (and not just to give them the answer). It is good to see them enjoying themshelves and learning at the same time. The best part is that even my always-reluctant students are attempting the sums.
I am very motivated by their responses and would definitely do more for the students!
This is my 2nd attempt at Padlet-Enabled discussion (Use of Claim-Evidence-Reasoning) . [Link] What I do differently this week:
(1) Pair work – This week’s topic’s Heat is more challenging. Thus, I make them work in pairs so that they can support one another
(2) Use of iPads for the very first time for this P5 class. This will allow me to conduct ICT-enabled lessons even when the labs are not available.
What are the outcomes? There is more quality commenting after modelling commenting but I still want MORE!! 🙂 In the last exercise [Link], I gave each posting a targeted comment. Some of you may go like “Where got time?” But, I see this as marking and giving them very targeted feedback. Hopefully, this will help them to move forward as a learner. One trick to cut down on the “commenting load” is to allow them to work in pairs like what i do this week. I admit I am lazy and want to find the more efficient way to save time but yet not compromising the learning experience for my students!
For this week, my homework for them to look at my comments given for the heat exercise ( I just posted my comments last night) and try modifying the answers based on the answers given. I am happy to see one of my not-so-engaged student taking interest and even modified her post last week at home (without me asking so). This week, she requests me to post it on the kidblog so that she can edit at home. Good to see this little exercise enthusing her!
I am glad that I have this ICT-enabled discussion as this make their scientific reasoning visible. Here are their gaps which I need to work on:
(1) Not being very specific in their evidence. They mention about the Cup X is hotter (but it is actually the temperature of the water)
(2) In reasoning, they do not mention heat transfer matching their evidence and claim. For example, they mention Cup X gains heat faster than Cup Y. But, they ought to be discussing about heat transfer of water (as the evidence or claim is about the temperature of water)
I actually designed this exercise deliberately for them to make their mistakes visible. They are taken aback when I say that none of the posting would be awarded full marks. I believe even if I explain to them earlier, they might not be able to grasp. I hope that this will “shock” them and create cognitive dissonance (sounds ATAS, right ? -) . Hopefully, this would get them to be more meaningfully engaged in their learning. It is easy for me to “show and tell” but are my students really learning. Hopefully , such exercise will create more meaningful learning experience for my students!
As I have indicated earlier [Link] , I would be focusing on strengthening my students’ scientific communication using Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER) . Hopefully, with this focus on reasoning, they would be in a better position to communicate science concisely during their PSLE next year. Of course, this skill is not just applicable to the examination. They can also apply in their daily lives. For example, using CER to detect fake new You can check out this link for the actually activity.
Reflecting on my past use of padlets, for this activity, I am making the following changes :
(1) Use a few padlets. To avoid too many posting. Too many posting make the padlet very messy and students might have difficulty in navigating.
(2) Different questions to be answered so that students can learn more about different concepts.
(3) Using 1 star and 1 wish to frame their comment (for the very first time)
So, what about the outcome? I am basically quite satisfied as this is the very first attempt. Most of them do try to frame their answers around the CER and they do give quite good answers. However, they need to brush up on their commenting as only some of them give very specific and targeted comments. This is the first time they are trying and I only show them once. Some of them post “non-scientific” posting and I need to warn the class not to let this happen again. Actually, such posting is inevitable as kids being kids. Just need to constantly nag at them no to do it.
So, what is next? These are the steps that I would step to further refine this plan:
(1) Model the commenting . I have given each posting a comment using the framing
(2) Address learning gap: They seem to be confused with pollination and fertilisation. The reasoning for these two process is vague (like the flower pollinate another flower) or inaccurate (the ovary is being fertilised or the ovule being fertilized by pollen grain).
I am glad that I have given them these exercise. By making their thinking visible, I know what they are not strong on and would work on their weak points!
As a science teacher, I always love to use videos. Typically, I would just let the class watch videos and hopefully they get it. I might have some classroom discussion but I never really try to see if they really understand from the videos.
In the first week, I do a minor tweak to this video-practice. I allow them to watch video and either get them to post questions [Link] or what they learn [Link] . Using the insight from their posting, I would consolidate what they had learned from the topic.
For my P6 class, I decide to “just-do-it” even though they are not academically strong. As a class, they collectively manage to list down all the essential points (although their explanation might not be clear). I rearranged their posting around the essential points and use that to consolidate the lessons the next day. I basically used what they had posted and build on the responses by giving them the scientifically acceptable terms.
I am glad that I have tried that out as this help to amplify the power of video. By making their thinking visible, I use their “words” to teach them. Yes, the posting might not be fantastic and it needs a teacher to understand what they are trying to say. But, at least, they are writing. I acknowledge their posting and this makes them feel good. Hopefully, this will make them own their learning.
As for P5s, I am getting them to ask questions as there is no “talk” in the video. I am using the video as the starter activity for germination. I also allow them to answer their friend’s questions. Again, the essential questions about germination have been asked. I am using these information to close their learning gap. Due to the large number of postings, I need to create a few padlets to host their questions.
(1) What is Germination?
(2) Conditions for Germination
Here is my unpacking of using SLS Pedagogical Scaffold to guide my ICT-enabled lessons. I decide not to plan at topic-specific level. But, rather, I would do a raise above and want my students to be enculturated in Claim-Evidence-Based Reasoning. The content would be a means to get them be familiar with this way of scientific reasoning. I want my students to be learning science and not learning about science. Who needs them to learn about science if all the content can be easily “googleable”?
Phase 1 : Establish learning outcomes
To develop Communication, Collaboration and Information Skills using Claim-Reasoning Evidence Framing
Unpacking in this context : To be able to communicate the science reasoning clearly with Claim-Reasoning Evidence Framing
Phase 2 : Lesson enactment
Learning Experience : Discussion
Activate Learning : Set success criteria , Modelling of reasoning
Promote thinking and discussion : Show examples of answers and get students to critique. Can be done through online platform or classroom discussion
Facilitate demonstration of understanding : Use of online platform like padlet or blogs for them to make their reasoning visible. Allows for peer critque
Monitor and Provide feedback : Will discuss the most problematic concept in the class. Provide feedback via the online platform. Give similar question to “re-monitor” their understanding.
Phase 3 : Accessing the quality of learning
Artifacts to be collected : Students’ response and critques over a few cycle.
This year, I want to focus on using technology to enable
(1) Thoughtful Commenting
(2) Making thinking visible through screencasting
How should I go about doing this? I would need to set success criteria for them and the success criteria should be generic to be able to apply through out the year. However, for each topic, I would need to unpack specifically about the topic accuracy.
For thoughtful commenting, I would use the ladder of feedback
As for screencasting, I am thinking of modifying the rubrics at this link
Would be trying that out for the next few week. Will update this post and blog my reflections once that was done.