assessment

Fluco Toolbox: Gimkit

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever found your students enjoy using the likes of Kahoot, Quizizz, or Quizlet, but you want to try something different, maybe something with a few more bells and whistles?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Gimkit

First, the basics:

Name: Gimkit
URL: http://www.gimkit.com/
Cost: FREE, with 2 other paid options
Problem this tool solves: Create interactive quizzes for your students and allow them to answer on their own devices. Students earn in-game cash, which they can then use to upgrade their quiz experience. Teachers can convert Quizlets to work with this site.

Gimkit is a tool that has recently come across my Twitter feed, and I think it’s a great option to use alongside Kahoot, Quizizz, and the like. It brings in some different features and mixes things up. It was also created by a group of high school students, who also work to maintain their project. Teachers are able to create “kits” and have their students compete against each other. Students earn in-game cash, which they can then use to purchase upgrades to their quiz experience. Obviously, the better a student does, the more money they earn, and the more upgrades they are able to then purchase.

Signing up for Gimkit is pretty easy. First, a teacher must select a payment tier. There are 3 – Basic, Pro, and Go. Basic is the free side of Gimkit. Teachers are limited to only having 5 kits on the site at a time, but can access all of the core features. Pro means unlimited kits and access for 4.99 per month, and the user is billed annually. It also brings in some additional features, such as unlimited classes, the ability to import from Quizlet, copy and mixing of existing kits, stats, and more. Go is the pay per month side, and has the same features as Pro. However, it costs 7.99 a month, and users can cancel whenever.

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Once a plan is selected, simply fill out the required fields for name, email, and password. Currently, there is no integration with Google, but this is a relatively new site, so if this is a feature you’d like to see in the future, contact the creators and let them know.

Once sign up is completed, the dashboard appears, along with a quick introduction to Gimkit. The dashboard is very simple. Create a kit and dive right in, or create a class. Let’s take a look at both of these features.

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First, let’s look at Classes. When creating a class, give it a name, a color, and then enter in roster names. When students join a kit, they will have to select their name from the list, and will not be able to enter a name of their own choosing. Again, there is no Google integration, so all names are entered by hand. I tried to see what kind of limit was available for class creation. I ended up making 8 classes before I stopped trying to make more. It is easy to edit the class information or to delete a class that’s no longer needed. All one has to do is click on the class in the dashboard and select which students to remove, or click the button to delete the entire class.

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Creating a kit is easy! First, choose the type of kit to create. There are three options – From Scratch, importing from Quizlet, or from CSV. Make sure to give the new kit a name, and then click “Next”

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No matter which of the above options were selected in step 1, the next step is to select a cover. A variety of GIFs are randomly displayed. Additionally, the option to search for other GIFs is also available. Select one for the kit and then the next screen will load.

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The screen that follows the “Choose a cover” one varies depending on the type of kit being created. Let’s break it down.

If “From Scratch” was selected, then the first question screen will load. Select the “Add Question” button in the bottom right corner to begin.

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The next screen is very basic. There are two options for question types – multiple choice or text input. This is changed in the upper right corner. It’s very small, so it’s also easily missed. Multiple choice questions require the question and then answer choices. The first box requires the correct answer. An image can also be added to the question. Text input merely requires the question and the correct answer. Do note that the answer is not case sensitive. Click the blue “Add Question” button to save. Questions can be edited or deleted from the next screen. Click the blue “Create Kit” button in the upper right corner to save the kit.

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If “From Quizlet” is selected, first select the GIF cover and then move to the next screen. Anyone can import a Quizlet into Gimkit. However, only Pro and Go subscribers can make any changes once quizlets have been imported to Gimkit. Users can import public sets from Quizlet or use sets they have created. Clicking on either of the options opens a new tab to search Quizlet.

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Once a quizlet has been found, switch back to the Gimkit tab. The next screen will provide instructions on importing quizlets into Gimkit. Oh and make sure to be logged in to Quizlet, otherwise, the “Export” option will not appear.

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Follow the given directions. I was unable to import the images from the Quizlet, so importing only quizlets with text may be the best option for now. I also noticed that even though I was a Basic user, I was able to edit the imported Quizlet, and could add in images if I chose to do so.

Finally, if choosing to import a CSV file, make sure to follow the guidelines in the image below:

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Note that only correct answers can be listed in the file. Once the file is uploaded and converted into a kit, then the wrong answers can be added. As a placeholder, the kit will have answers from other questions listed as wrong options. Don’t forget to change them!

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Once a kit has been created, it’s time to play!

If classes have been set up, kits can be assigned as homework. However, there is no way to securely make sure that students aren’t taking someone else’s kit since students select their names from a list in the class to play. This is where integration with Google would be handy. I don’t recommend this feature just yet unless a class can be trusted.

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Playing live games on Gimkit is the way to go at the moment. Simply click on the kit in the dashboard. Choose Play or Preview.

Choosing Preview loads a sample game on the screen. Play through just as a student would see it. Click the orange shopping bag at the top of the screen to view the market. The market is where students will be able to purchase upgrades for their name, which improves the amount of cash they can potentially earn each game. In order to earn cash to upgrade, they have to answer questions correctly. Wrong answers mean losing cash.

Choosing Play provides a variety of options for the teacher to select. There’s Classic VS Team modes, game goals, and options for the game itself. Students will be asked to enter a join code. If a Class has been selected, students will need to select their name from the roster to play.

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Once the game begins, questions will appear. Students will see the same questions repeatedly, depending on the game goal selected. For example, if the goal is to earn $1,000,000, students play through all of the questions until they earn that amount. They can visit the shop at any point during the game to add upgrades to their play, earning them more money faster. However, spending money on upgrades will set them back, and they must earn back the money to reach their goal. On the teacher side, teachers can see how far along students are toward the goal, and how much money has been earned overall.

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When the game is over, teachers are able to view a report that includes the overall game scores, as well as individual information on each student who played. Reports are also saved for later viewing. All reports are saved as PDF.

This is definitely a tool to look into using! It’s engaging and fun, and though it is lacking some features, it’s off to a great start. Hats off to these high school students, and remember, if you would like to see a feature added, do contact the folks at Gimkit and let them know.

Resources

Fluco Toolbox: CommonLit

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever wanted to find free reading passages that included assessment tools AND have it all be completely FREE?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: CommonLit

First, the basics:

Name: CommonLit
URL: http://www.commonlit.org
Cost: FREE (No paid features)
Problem this tool solves: Free reading passages geared toward grades 3-12. Question sets can be assigned online or printed, and passages can be downloaded as PDFs. Tools for struggling readers, such as guided reading, translate, and read aloud are available. Score assignments and give feedback easily.

This Fluco Toolbox post is mostly for my English and History/Social Studies folks, but teachers of other subject areas may also find it helpful. CommonLit is a free website for teachers where text, passages, and short stories can be found. Please note that this website does not modify the reading level of passages, unlike other similar sites.

Teachers are always looking for free texts and passages to use with students. Many sites provide options, but often they are paid choices, and not in the budget for the average teacher. Enter CommonLit. This website is free for all teachers and students and not only provides passages, but assessments, and the tools to assess student progress over time. While it may not provide as large of a variety of text, the content it does provide is rich in resources.

Create an account on CommonLit. When signing up, you’ll need to fill out a sign-up form, but after the account has been created, CommonLit allows sign-in via Google and Clever. After sign-up, you’ll be taken to your dashboard. G Suite teachers are at an advantage because they can import their classes from Google Classroom, but other teachers will need to create their rosters from scratch. Creating a class allows teachers to assign articles and stories to students to complete.

Next, teachers should search the library. Find articles by book, genre, grade level, literary device, text set, and theme. CommonLit provides texts for students in 3-12. However, the majority of text available is for grades 7-10. These age ranges have over 700 articles combined, whereas the other groups hover around 200 on average.

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After an article has been selected, there are many tools to preview before assigning it to students. As stated before, tools for reading aloud and translate are available. There is also a highlighter tool for note-taking. Teachers can preview the questions used in guided reading mode, as well as the questions used as part of the assessment.

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While many of the tools are self-explanatory, guided reading is one that is not. This tool is perfect for students who need text in smaller chunks, or even as part of a small group setting. Guided reading only shows the text up to the point where a guided reading question is asked. This question only checks for textual understanding, and will not reveal more text until a student has answered correctly. However, a student can try to answer the question more than once. Correct answers will reveal the next chunk of text.

After reviewing the text, the tools, and the assessment questions, assign the text to students. The text can be assigned to a whole class, or to individual students. Again, this allows the teacher to differentiate the text for a classroom.

Students are now ready to begin reading and taking assessments on CommonLit. Students will need to go to the CommonLit webpage and choose to sign-in with Google. They’ll need to connect their account. CommonLit will ask them to create a password. Have them use the same password that they use for their email accounts.

After students have taken assessments, the next step is to analyze student progress. This can be done on your dashboard by selecting “Student Progress” in the drop-down menu. At a glance, you’ll see the comparison of informational to literary text, students who are top performers, bottom performers, and assignment averages.

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Remember, CommonLit is a completely free reading website, and while it doesn’t have the same variety of articles or the ability to adjust the reading levels of a text, it is very robust for a FREE website. It’s worth taking a look at!

Resources

Fluco Toolbox: Quizizz

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever found yourself in love with an online quiz program, but wished there was a program out there that didn’t rely on how fast students can answer? What about one that allowed students to take a quiz at home?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Quizizz

First, the basics:

Name: Quizizz
URL: quizizz.com
Cost: FREE
Problem this tool solves: Create quizzes for students where being the fastest to answer is not a factor. Assign quizzes to be taken later at home. Integrates with Google Classroom, Edmodo, and Remind.

Chances are, you already use some kind of online quiz program in your classroom. It is likely that you have used it quite a bit, and you have noticed a few things – unable to take the quiz outside of the classroom, first to answer correctly wins points, etc. If you’re looking for something new, then give Quizizz a try!

Quizizz gives a different spin to the quiz game. Students are not forced to beat the clock to answer correctly and get the most points. Instead, Quizizz takes a self-guided approach. Quizizz also allows teachers to assign quizzes that are taken outside of the school day. Because of this feature, questions and answer choices are shown on every screen, not just the teacher’s. Teachers can gather live data and reports for assessment. There’s even a fun Meme creator for questions.

First, create an account. Google users can sign up with their Google accounts. Everyone else must sign up with email. Once an account has been created, you’ll be taken to your dashboard. The dashboard is where you’ll search for new quizzes, create your own, and locate resources.

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If you’ve used Kahoot! before, the layout and setup of new quizzes are largely the same. You’ll find that Quizizz only offers multiple choice quiz types, whereas Kahoot! offers more. Remix public quizzes on both sites. Create your own memes to support correct/incorrect answers on Quizizz. Quizizz also allows both the question and answer choices to be seen on the student’s screen. Quizizz works with Google Classroom. Quizizz also allows quizzes to be assigned as homework and can be completed on any device. Kahoot! does allow a similar feature, but it’s limited only to the mobile app.

First, let’s create a quiz. This can be done by searching the public database and remixing an existing quiz or starting entirely from scratch. Give the new quiz a name, and include an image if you wish. Then you’ll be taken to the quiz editor.

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Quizizz has a recently released a new quiz editor, which makes creation even easier! Users can now select more than one correct answer, include images in questions, and include a 5th option for answer choices.

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To create a question, fill out the information required. At least 2 answer options are needed for each question. Don’t forget to check out some of the cool options! Make more than one answer correct, add a 5th correct choice, change the time limit, and add an image to the answers. On the right side of the screen, you’ll see a preview of the created question as it would appear for students. This updates in real time.

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Save the current question, and then add as many questions as needed. One of my favorite parts of Quizizz is the ability to search other quizzes for questions to use. Teachers never like to reinvent the wheel if they don’t have to! This feature allows you to search other existing quizzes, or limit to only your own for questions to use in a quiz. Once you find a question to use, all you have to do is add it to your quiz. You can then edit the question.

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After all questions have been added or created, simply click “Finish Quiz”. Before doing this, decide if you would like the quiz to be public or private. You’ll see the button just below the name of the question on the page that shows all of the questions for the quiz. You’ll need to provide some details about who the quiz is suitable for, and then it’s considered published.

Once a quiz has been published, it’s visible to everyone, unless you chose to make it private. There are two options to distribute quizzes to students – Play Live and Homework. Playing live means playing the game in real time. Students complete the quiz, but on their own devices. Teachers have a variety of options to customize gameplay, such as shuffling questions, giving points for faster answers, letting students see the leaderboard, etc. When a game is in progress, students see both the question and answer choices on their screens. There’s also the option to give the quiz as homework. Students can take the quiz at home until the quiz deadline. Once the deadline hits, it will no longer available.

Teachers decide between Play Live and Homework based on the goals to be accomplished. Live works well for in-class work and assessments. Homework is awesome for out of class assignments or for students who may be at home sick. One benefit of Homework is that the link to the game can be shared with Google Classroom, Edmodo, or Remind without students needing a join code to play.

When all is said and done, quiz data can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet. The data will show the students for each quiz, the questions correct, incorrect, and not attempted.

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When it comes down to it, Quizizz is a fantastic tool that’s only getting better as time goes on. As with any other quizzing tool, use it when the tool works best for the students and curriculum being taught at the moment.

[Resources]

Twitter Transcript: #wvedchat on EOY, Assessment & Reflection

Tonight’s #wvedchat (which I nearly forgot about) focused on End of Year assessment and student learning. I really dislike EOY testing, even though it is required because I am unable to work with teachers as much as usual. However, this was a refreshing look at why the EOY can be so special, as well as the changes that have occurred in students throughout the year.

Transcript can be found here

#wvedchat meets every other Tuesday at 8 PM as well. Derek Oldfield (@Mr_Oldfield) is one to follow for notices about the chat itself.