Category Archives: Student Response

Questimate

Questimate is a free mathematics app available for the iPad on iTunes.  The free version only allows you to reach a certain point, offering in-app purchases that allow you to purchase more “quests.”  There is also a Pro version that is $7.99 on the app store, but $3.99 for educators.  If you visit this page, you can get information for requesting a sample of the Pro version.

I first saw Questimate on the Technology Tidbits blog, and downloaded it immediately so I could try it later.  I do this a lot – and then I forget that I downloaded the app.  Then my daughter, who gets all of the apps I download on my personal device on her device as well, will say, “Hey, mom, what’s this app for?”  And then I (instead of admitting I have no idea) use my best teacher voice to say, “Well, why don’t you try it to see what happens?”  It doesn’t take very long for her to tell me if the app is a waste of time.

That didn’t happen with Questimate.  I started playing it by myself, and after I cheered a couple of times when I got something right, my husband drifted over to see what was going on.  Then my daughter entered the room, and pretty soon we were all giving input.  That’s when I decided that I definitely needed to feature Questimate for Fun Friday this week!

Questimate allows you to design your own estimation questions using their supplied options.  I’ve loaded a sequence of pictures below in a slideshow to show you the process for one question.  Once you create a question, you are given a screen for making your guess.  In this example, you use the number-line to choose.  Some of the other questions have you type in a number or actually resize pictures to show the general comparison between two objects.

You have 3 lives in a quest, and your estimate has to be within a certain target range of the correct answer in order to not “lose a life.”  You can earn points that can be used for various helpful hints during the game.

Questimate is fun, offers choice, and is educational.  It can be played in “Solo”, “Pass & Play”, and “Game Center”  versions.  Variations to choose from, even the Free version of the game should keep you engaged for quite a long time.

Questimate would be great as a center activity or as a fun game to project for the whole class.  It’s pretty good for family entertainment, too!

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Quotes with QR Codes

QR Code Poster from Tony Vincent's "Learning in Hand" blog
QR Code Poster from Tony Vincent’s “Learning in Hand” blog

I absolutely love this idea from Tony Vincent’s “Learning in Hand” blog.  He has taken a series of quotes, and used QR quotes to cover up parts of the quotes.  If you go to this link, you can see 20 examples.  He also offers a link to a video explaining QR codes.  Tony hangs up the posters for people to take a look at during breaks at workshops, but I could certainly see bringing this idea to the classroom, as well.  What I might do is have my students use Socrative to input their own guesses as to what words would complete the quote, then let them scan the code to see if the general idea is the same.  Here is a link to my Pinterest board that is chock full of inspirational quotations.

Socrative (Reblog)

For the summer, I have decided to use my Tuesday and Thursday posts to reblog some of my favorite posts that some of my readers may have missed the first time around.

Socrative is a student response system that pretty allows you to use any device with internet access, instead of having to purchase expensive separate hand-helds.  Once registered (and it is free), the teacher can create quizzes, exercises, and quick exit tickets.  It could be used in “real time” by students who each have an iPod Touch/iPad or laptop, teams of students who share an internet enabled device, or even by students at home or rotating through one computer in a classroom center.  I used this on a regular basis with my students last year, and they loved it.  I appreciated getting instant feedback on what they knew or how they felt about a topic.  They enjoyed making it into a game with the “Space Race” feature that showed their team rockets moving forward on our classroom screen as they answered questions correctly.  The teacher can have a spreadsheet with the results sent by an e-mail when the quizzes are completed, and graphs can be viewed by the entire class of the results.  Many of these things can be done using Google Forms, but Socrative makes it easier and more fun for the students.

UPDATE:  Socrative can be used as a web-based program, but now also has an app for  Android and iDevices available (also for free).

Student Engagement According to First Graders

A couple of posts ago, I linked to an interesting post by Heather Wolpert-Gawron in which her eighth graders give suggestions for engaging students in class.  Mrs. Cunningham, a first grade teacher at my school, decided to find out what her group felt about ways to stay engaged, and videotaped their responses.  The video is below, or you can go directly to her post here (please give the class a comment, as they love feedback!).  Mrs. Cunningham and I were both amazed about the similarities between the 1st grade and 8th grade responses.  (She did not share the 8th grade ones with her students.)  I am also quite impressed by the vocabulary and speaking skills of Mrs. Cunningham’s kids.  Great job, Mrs. Cunningham’s Class!

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Socrative

Socrative is a student response system that pretty allows you to use any device with internet access, instead of having to purchase expensive separate hand-helds.  Once registered (and it is free), the teacher can create quizzes, exercises, and quick exit tickets.  It could be used in “real time” by students who each have an iPod Touch/iPad or laptop, teams of students who share an internet enabled device, or even by students at home or rotating through one computer in a classroom center.  I used this on a regular basis with my students last year, and they loved it.  I appreciated getting instant feedback on what they knew or how they felt about a topic.  They enjoyed making it into a game with the “Space Race” feature that showed their team rockets moving forward on our classroom screen as they answered questions correctly.  The teacher can have a spreadsheet with the results sent by an e-mail when the quizzes are completed, and graphs can be viewed by the entire class of the results.  Many of these things can be done using Google Forms, but Socrative makes it easier and more fun for the students.