Sunday, March 8, 2015

How I Used Plickers

I just started using Plickers in one of my classes.  I learned about them at #TMC14, and if you don't know what I'm talking about go here to find out about them.

Note:  this is my reflection of my use in the classroom; nothing more

Set-up:  I printed the free plickers, size "normal" and copied onto colored paper, laminated, and wrote each student's name on the back in sharpie.  I had my students use the plickers for one question on Monday and one question on Tuesday, just to see how they would work.  Then I planned to use them multiple times on Wednesday.

Class:  I was doing this in my intervention class, which has 8 students enrolled.  I wanted to try plickers in my smaller, more flexible class before full-out implementing into my large core classes.

We have been studying domain and range, so I prepared seven graphs, each with 4 options for domain and range, trying to include common errors as possible options.  I also created some beginning questions about domain and range, just to get us started.

Implementation:  I showed the graphs and the options using my document camera and the students pulled chairs around the screen.  I did not show the plickers "Live View" because I was showing everything they needed through the doc camera.  I gave them 30 seconds to think then asked them to hold up their answers and I scanned with my iPad.

The app gives immediate feedback as to who was right and who was wrong, and which wrong answer they selected.  I can use that to base our follow-up conversation before we move on to the next question.

Reflection Thoughts:

  • The kids LOVED it.  They asked to do it everyday and for the most part they were engaged the whole time.
  • At the end of the lesson I gave the a graph and had them give the domain and range WITHOUT options.  They were more successful than they would have been before the lesson, but not as successful as I would have hoped.
  • The app seems slow, but I have to remember that it is faster than if I had to read and judge them all.
  • If they are covering up any part of the QR Code it will not read their answer.
  • I'm not ready to implement in a full class, because it would be harder to keep everyone engaged.
  • I can't think of a better way to help students learn about domain and range in a way that will engage them and simplify it to make it more accessible to all students from the beginning.
  • I'm planning on doing something similar in the future with other concepts.
How have you tried plickers?  What did you like?  What does it take to make a good plicker lesson?


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