Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Formative Assessment and Classkick

Happy New Year friends! I'm so glad to get back to blogging. While I've been away, I have been learning about some of the best Apps for teachers. Right before Winter Break, I started using a formative assessment App called Classkick with my primary students and it's one of my new FAVORITE things. Are you using it in your classroom? If not, you should give it a try.

Classkick can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store. Chromebook, laptop, or desktop users can access Classkick from classkick.com. Before I downloaded the App (my district requires iPad Apps to be approved and it takes a few days), I made QR codes that directed students to their Classkick assignment.

Classkick is very teacher friendly and their Web site has tons of tutorials and get started guides for every grade level. I watched a few tutorials and uploaded my first assignment in under an hour.

Students can work at their own pace and receive immediate teacher feedback by virtually raising their hand. Students can click on the hand icon when they need help or are ready to turn in their assignment. In my class, students know to be on the lookout for teacher feedback on their Classkick assignment before moving on to the next activity. I've also set the expectation that students need to go back and fix incorrect answers. After students fix their mistakes, I can drag "old" feedback that is no longer needed to the trash can to delete it. I enjoy the ability to "pass" the paperless assignment back-and-forth without exchanging any paper.

Teachers have the ability to upload any PDF assignments to Classkick. As a primary teacher, I have hundreds of paper assignments in my filing cabinets. I also have tons of Word and PowerPoint files (yes, I create/design my Add Some Sparkle materials in PPT) that can be saved easily as PDF files. I like the fact that I don't have to create a separate multiple choice, short answer, or true/false assignment in order to use Classkick as a formative assessment tool. I'm all for working smarter, not harder.

Teachers have the ability to record their voice on assignments. Instead of typing out a bunch of written directions, I simplified my teacher directions and recorded a short audio segment with the steps students should follow to complete the assignment. Students could go back and listen to the audio directions as many times as they needed.

Classkick's Whole Class View is a dashboard that allows the teacher to see every student working on the assignment in real time. It's a bit mesmerizing to watch students all working at the same time at their own pace. As students are working on their assignment, I pull up and monitor the Whole Class View. With this view pulled up, I can monitor which students are needing my help, assess and provide feedback on assignments that are completed, award points for assignment completion, and export the assignment data.

I would love to hear how you're using Classkick in your classroom. What are your favorite things about it? Let's share ideas.

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