Review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2017

ClassClimate

Emoji tool tracks student moods, gives real-time formative assessment

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Character & SEL

Subjects
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K-6
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Pros: Kids will love the emoji check-ins, and the commenting features can help teachers make more meaningful student connections.

Cons: Submissions and comments can't be deleted, and student email addresses are required to fully use website features.

Bottom Line: Useful tool for quick formative assessment and keeping track of students' emotions and moods over time.

ClassClimate is an emoji tool that makes checking in with students quick and easy. Take two minutes to gauge the mood of your class after a long weekend or a difficult lesson. Let students warm up to a mixed fraction lesson by asking them to rate how they feel about their multiplication and division skills. Ask students to submit questions as you teach so that you can seamlessly integrate them into the lesson. Use this tool as an exit ticket to ask students how they feel about what they learned or to point out areas of confusion. Check for patterns of questions and responses in order to inform your lesson planning.

Need more data? Use the Reports feature to see how students are feeling, and track it for a few days, a few weeks, or longer. This can be especially useful information for counselors or to bring to parent conferences. Building a supportive classroom environment takes skill on the teacher's part, but ClassClimate makes gathering information about what's going on in students' minds a bit easier. A word of caution: This is not hard and fast data. Students are able to submit responses over and over, which can skew the results. Since students can submit unlimited feelings in a day and they cannot be deleted, teachers should be prepared to take away access to the link to prevent unwanted submissions.  

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ClassClimate is a website that uses emojis to track student emotions, moods, and comments in real time or over an extended period. Once teachers sign up for an account and click on an email verification link, they can send out their first "Speed Read" by giving students access to a class link. Students will be directed to a screen with a blank emoji face that asks them to choose their mood, and then a second screen that asks them to choose their happiness level. The emoji will change depending on their responses. Students can then submit an optional comment or question along with their name before clicking the green check mark, which submits the response. Students are able to submit an unlimited number of responses.

Teachers can see the students' names and emojis as they come in, but they will have to click the message icon to view comments. Teachers cannot reply to or delete student comments or questions on the site, and in order to access reports, teachers must create classes. This is easily done by typing in the name of a class and then clicking on the Create Course button. There are some privacy issues to consider: Students must provide their email address to join a class.

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ClassClimate offers a simple way to gather data about students' emotions. Teachers can use this tool to keep a finger on the pulse of the classroom and build a positive, supportive environment for students as well as to provide a starting point for conversations that help build relationships. More than that, though, is the option to use the data to inform instruction. Aside from the ability to conduct a quick formative or even summative assessment, pairing the emotional response with the students' comments allows teachers to see not only how students are interacting with the content, but how they feel about their skills and understanding. A social component would be a useful way to give students more opportunities to develop empathy for their peers, but identifying and expressing their own feelings is a good start.

Overall, setup is easy, but the user experience isn't intuitive in places; more pointers and tips on the home screen would be beneficial. Also, younger students in K-1 might need some adult guidance understanding the feelings and typing comments. A few more features would improve the site for classroom use, including sound effects, a lock feature, and the ability for teachers to add their own options for students. While the scope of the tool is currently limited, there's potential for ClassClimate to become a useful mechanism for enhancing classroom instruction as well as students' social and emotional development.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students will love checking in with their emotions, comments, and questions. They may get distracted with ability to post repeatedly.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Teachers can gather valuable real-time information about students' emotions and understanding of concepts and can view it over time to determine patterns. More teacher controls and collaborative features would be helpful.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

While the site is easy to set up and use, there's very little direction in terms of features. With few resources and no tutorials, teachers will have to figure it out on their own.


Common Sense Reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

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