How I Use It
There are so many wonderful platforms available for providing students with more engaging and interactive ways to learn and retain information. Unfortunately, many of these platforms require students to have or use their own devices, which can often cause limitations for elementary students. Luckily, I discovered Plickers at the beginning of the school year and decided to give this wonderful platform a try. My plan was to use Plickers as a review tool for upcoming assessments.
To use Plickers with my students, I downloaded the app to my iPhone and then went online to the website to print off the response cards. I assigned each student a specific card number, this feature allowed me to pinpoint each child's specific answers. Next, I created reading and math review questions for the upcoming nine week assessments. The questions can be in multiple choice or True/False format. I loved the fact that I could display a formative assessment on the SmartBoard, with more of a game-based learning approach. Finally once everything was set-up and ready, I was able to discuss the new test preparation strategy with my students. I made sure they knew that their card could be turned four directions depending on their answer choice. For instance, each card is numbered, but also has the letters: A, B, C and D. I modeled how to turn the card to display the answer they felt was correct for each question. After practicing this with the students several times, they were ready for a practice round of Plickers. I used the math and reading review questions that I created to assess student knowledge and pinpoint areas of weakness. To begin the activity, I displayed the first question and asked students to silently read the question and answer choices to themselves. Once students decided their answer choice, they held their cards up and I quickly scanned them with my cellphone to record their answers. As soon as their choice was recorded, they were able to see a check mark displayed by their names on the SmartBoard. After receiving the checkmark, students were instructed to lay their card face down on the table. We continued this method until we completed an entire round of questions. Following the activity, I reviewed the answers to each of the questions orally. Later I was able to use the information to view individual student responses, group responses and pinpoint areas of weaknesses and strengths. My students thoroughly enjoyed this activity because it made assessment reviews fun and engaging. I like the fact that I can use the feedback to provide individual or group remediation as needed. I plan to continue using this approach for assessment reviews because it has truly made a difference for my students.
Overall, I think that Plickers is an amazing tool for formative assessments. Students are provided with a more engaging way to review instructional content, that promotes fun and excitement. Teachers are provided with valuable information to determine student understanding and mastery of key skills. The information I received from Plickers allowed me to pinpoint areas of concern and focus on specific skills that required reteaching, individualized instruction and remediation. I highly recommend Plickers, because it is a wonderful teaching and assessment tool.