I have tried Google Form Quiz for the past two weeks.
After reflecting on the first lesson, I had made the changes as proposed in my earlier post [Link]
I have seem improvement in their engagement through these little measures. Having set the expectations, the kids would do do their own corrections and try to get as many question right as possible. At least, they spent less time “fooling” around with the computers.
One pupil exclaimed loudly when he received his score. He has managed to get 50/60 in the first try and this has always been my expectation for them. . He came up to me and told me that was the very first time he had scored 50. Of course, I seized the moment and encouraged him to strive for more 50s. Guess the impact might not be that great if I were to go through the answers with them the very next day. The instant feedback and the computer-generated score might have amplified the impact. #justguessing
It is telling to see the nicknames they give themselves. Some of them use names like XXX never give up. I then took this opportunity to encourage the students as I reckon that they might need some assurance . Without this info, I would never go up to them personally and encourage them as I might have wrongly assume that they are doing well and do not need much encouragement from the teachers.
One pupil came up to me and confessed he only scored less than 40 for his quiz. but more than 50 at the second try. I asked him to reflect on what had not gone too well. He articulated that he did not read the question carefully and had been too careless in the first try. This is the affordance of Google Form. Instant feedback allows them to try the second time and make them realize mistake on their own. Possible without technology? I do no think so as humans cannot mark as fast at the computer for sure!
For this week, I made use of videos and answer garden as my starter activity. This help to solicit students’ response to the videos and thus soliciting their prior knowledge. The idea of using the video and answer garden was “born” through informal conversions with my colleagues.
The purpose of this video is to make the students realize that greenhouse gas traps heat. This is a very important concept as I can use that to discuss about global warming. Without the audio, the kids are more alert. I need to give them some clues (like what does the red line mine) so as to get them started. They then post their short notes on Answer Garden. Building on their response, I started the topic on Global Warming and then make them watch the video (with audio)
Show them a video on Acid and get them to talk about what acid can do. My students are alert and told me in the video, it was not acid. Cool that my students are critical of the videos. I then showed them another video in which the acid corrodes the iPhone. Students gives their response as “melt”. I take this opportunity and introduce the term corrodes. I need to have this starter video on acid as the students had no idea what acid is
Overall, I think the videos coupled with Answer Garden served the purpose. Getting students interested and also allowing me to know their prior knowledge. Such prior knowledge would allow me to pitch my lessons at their levels. One downside about this activity that there might be the possibility of students posting non-meaningful stuff on answer garden. There is no way to track. So far, such incident was rare. Guess it was time for me to instill some digital citizenship in them.
Many thanks to my colleagues who are willing to loan me their printed sets, I finally get to try Plickers. I have been toying with this idea since last year. But, I never do it as I am too lazy to print out the set.:-)
Plickers is easy to use. All you need is to download the app and the results can be shown live on the screen. We can capture the responses for the hinge-point questions using Plickers. This is particularly useful for formative assessment as we can have a sensing of what the student know. Plicker help us to display the responses immediately. The challenge is how we made use of the responses to inform our teaching accordingly.
I have tried using that for my P4 and P6 Science students since we are going through MCQs in Booklet A. These MCQs serve as my “hinger-point” questions. This is how I do it
Get my students into groups and they discuss on the few questions that I have chosen for about ten minutes. They can argue if their answers differs. This is what I have been doing with them for the past 2 weeks [Link]
These questions are usually hinge-point questions. Questions that can give me a glimpse of the level of understanding in the class.
Get them to raise the answers and discuss their answers.
Generally, the students are more “enthu” in showing the answers rather then getting them to raise the hand. Just a small behavioral change can bring about the effect we desired. Perhaps, that is applying the nudge theory? [Link]
As these are “group” answers, the answers are mostly right. For the second round, I decide to give it a twist. I allow each group to have 2 cards. In case of dispute, the group can have different answers.
With more cards given to the students, answers are more varied. I can build on the students’ responses and highlight the possible alternative misconception. If appropriate , I even get the children to share why their friend choose that particular answer.
For my P6s, I even go a step further. I challenge them to guess why I choose these questions. I am hoping that they can see the “rise-above” and try to see the “pattern” in the possible mistake their peers are making. Not a easy task but I need to get them to start seeing beyond the question. The “pattern” could be
Answer not based on data given
Typical wrong alternative concept (e.g., the mass will change when the object is going up/down)
Teachers generally enjoy seeing the “right” answers from the students. So, what about “wrong” answers? Wrong answers also can provide learnable moments as we get the students to do the error analysis. We should refrain from giving them corrections and make it a penmanship exercise (“Students, please copy down the answer”) Rather, we can allow the peers to fix the errors. but rather we fix it for them. Afterall, we seek to make our students work harder. Fixing the errors is one of the formative assessment strategy and through such activity, we are activating the students as instructional resources. Read more on why the teacher need to know answers at this link
For the past 2 weeks, I have been doing that with my Maths class. I feel that they have attained the level and should be able to identify the errors. I allowed them to comment on the solutions or ask them to interrogate the pupils. Here are samples of their comments.
This is a fruitful exercise as I am getting the kids to think. And they do not disappoint me and show me that they can pinpoint the mistakes. The challenge for me is to find “fixable” errors for them and pitched at the right level. I also hope this exercise can also boast their confidence for mathematics.
Doing seatwork is a regular feature of my Maths Class. Sometimes, the kids might not even do it as they are either not interested or feel that the work is beyond them. For this week, I decide to give such seatwork a twist. I am going to make the seatwork visible to all by use of technology. It is still doing the same seatwork but their seatwork would be visible to all so that others can critique on it. Essentially, there is audience for their seatwork and it is not just meant for teachers’ eyes. Here is how I conduct the lessons:
Getting the students to work in pairs
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, I want the students to give each other support (activating peers as instructional resources). Secondly, this is to “half” the possible technical issues arises. I have tried getting them to use 1-2-1 iPads but the logistics is a petty nightmare. (I will post about on to how to manage the iPads in one of my future posting)
2. Use Nearpod so that students can ink the answers. The answers would be then shown on the projector screen almost immediately after they have submitted answers. Since there are only 7 groups, it is petty easy for me to have a quick glance at the answers and make a quick assessment of their learning. I will then get them to discuss the answers given and how we can improve the answer. The best answer would be send to each individual iPad for viewing. Here is a sample of the working,
Students are doing such seatwork and they “insist” that they have to do this more often. If they discover their answer is wrong after reviewing their peer’s answers, they would want to modify and resubmit the answer. They can also point out the mistakes of their peers’ answer (like using the wrong radius or omission of units). The reward for the best answer would be sent to each iPad for viewing. Some students really aim for such reward and try to give me the best answer in the shortest time. Their “super-on” reaction to such small award make me realize that my students needs affirmation. Guess I must nag/scold less and praise more.
It is indeed gratifying to see my students doing such seatwork enthusiastically. It gives me the much needed energy boast to do even more for them (even it means less-me time). Sometimes, teaching them can be very demoralizing when you realize how wide their learning gap is. Even the teacher (aka me) also need some affirmation from the students that we are moving in the right direction.
I have been using See Saw lately with my maths class.
Currently, I am using that to highlight students’ error and showcase students’ work. It is actually no much different from doing on their worked example book. Except that you can showcase your work publicly for your class to see. From my observation, it seems that pupils were more energized to do their work now. I also get to see the students’ work at one go and have some inkling where their gaps are.
How I am using SeeSaw:
Error Analysis – Show the student’s error and get them to see what is wrong
This week, I just wanted my pupils to do a simple quiz and show me what they had learned about energy change [Link]
Some of them wanted to use the blog as a platform to share some of the videos/websites that they had found and asked me how they can do it.no gladly obliged and showed them how that can be done.
They do had some good videos/websites and I used them for that for the next lessons. Guess that is another way of formative assessment : “Getting pupils to be instructional resources”. You can find the resources that they have posted at this link.
For the next session, I do not just want them just to post videos. I want them to write three things that they have learned. That is important as I need to get them to think about what they have experienced. This is how they can learn. After all,
“We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” (John Dewey)
I had used the Socrative App for the very first time in my Mathematics lessons. In this lesson, I set a few PSLE-style MCQ questions for the pupils to try.
What went well
Pupils were very enthusiastic (possibly the first time that they were using it) and eager to try the questions. The instant responses let me know what my students’ learning gaps were.
What comes after
Pupils were too over enthusiastic and might not be learning concepts when I was going through the answers with them. They just wish to try out the next question and see if they get it correct. They were “too high” during the lessons. This is not actually a bad thing as this will motivate them to do Maths.
However, to further deepen their understanding, I would need to reiterate to the pupils the purpose of the exercise. They need to learn from their mistakes and try not to make them the same mistake again. I cannot assume that they would just know the concept just because I had gone through with them. I would need to think about how I can create some meaningful learning experience so that they could grasp the concepts.
My class did a e-experiment today. In this e-experiment, pupils were to submit their responses via Google Form. I projected their results “live” on the screen (with the graph). This would help me to gather their response immediately and offer feedback (FA: Feedback) . Also, the use of e-experiment would help them to focus on the analysis of the data (higher-order thinking) rather than the “mechanical” collection of data
Pupils get to work like a scientist . Collect the date repeatedly and using ICT tools to process the data. ( I seriously do not think any scientist actually plot the data on the graph paper anymore)
2. Some of them submit very large numbers (for very naughty reasons of course). This is a very good teachable moment as I discuss with them about outliers in the data collection. Again, this is how the scientist work. Data is collected and we also need to look out for abnormal point. I guess I need to think thank the mischievous boy for providing with this teachable moment:-)
3. The data collected also highlights the gap in students’ knowing about data collection. They tend to focus on the extreme two sets of the data and were less likely to collect the “mid point” data
What comes after?
I am going to make use of this learning experience an focus on the scientific method (e.g., data collection). It is only 1 hr lesson today and I have not done enough to make them reflect on what they have learned.