My First Kahoot

Last month I prepared my first Kahoot for a presentation on Carnivorous plants. As a newly hired garden club advisor for a near-by school district, I agreed to do a limited amount of in-classroom presentations for teachers on topics related to the environment and/or gardening. So as not to create a great deal of extra work for myself, I decided to try and make the presentations on the topic that our garden club meeting was on for that particular month.

For example, in early December, garden club students studied the Poinsettia. We took a close look at this tropical plant that we bring into many of our homes each holiday season. We learned about its cultural history, horticultural requirements and peculiarities, and the legends behind this plant. Then, a couple of weeks later, I spend a half hour in each of five classrooms, ranging from 2nd-5th grade, making a similar, but abbreviated presentation on poinsettias. All the presentations seemed to go well and be appreciated.

The December presentations were the first set of four in-classroom sessions planned for the remainder of this school year. I like to keep things fresh, so for the January presentations, I made a Kahoot on carnivorous plants. My carnivorous plant unit is one that has been very popular with students in the past at my “old” school where I held a garden club for 13 years.  I wanted a way to engage the students in the topic without having time for a “hands-on” lesson and less that my usual time for the club presentation.

I found Kahoot easy to use. However, my first time around I did make a few mistakes. I put it in jumble mode not realizing that this was more for sequencing questions. So, unable to switch the content to the traditional mode. I had to retype (not rewrite) my fifteen questions.  This was not a problem, just part of the learning curve one expects when using a software.

Two weeks ago, I presented in three classrooms on Carnivorous Plants. In he first class – a combination of two third grades – the lead teacher and I decided not to use the Kahoot due to her students never having used one before. I had a back up plan and made a presentation with interactive discussion and two brief – two minute video clips. It went well.

The second class was a combined 4/5 Spanish Immersion classroom. The kids enjoyed the Kahoot and most of them answered the content questions accurately. But, there were enough inaccurate perceptions to allow me to give some new information to the students and enlighten their thinking on these unusual plants.

The third classroom was a disaster! It was a third grade. We used the Kahoot. The teacher assured me her students were familiar with it. In both this classroom and the 4/5 classroom, students used iPads as their 1:1 devices on which to play the “game.”  The difference in this third classroom was two-fold. 1) Once the Kahoot started – controlled on the classroom teacher’s computer – it ran fast and continuously! Unlike the 4/5 classroom, during which we paused after each question to discuss the answers, this time the Kahoot jumped right to the next question! I found myself having to explain too quickly or be cut off by the new question. This, of course, led to a raucous environment in the classroom. 2) As a “guest”, non-formal educator, I expect the classroom teacher to take the responsibility of her student’s behavior. But, nothing was done! So, I found myself having to jump in and reprimand a bunch of students I had never seen before in my life. The content of the Kahoot sped on and the presentation ended slightly before it was supposed to! No wonder!

I am not sure exactly what happened in this classroom. My first experience with using a Kahoot was variable. However, I was not in a classroom space of my own and I was not the one controlling the technology (computer). I learned from this experience and while I enjoyed the Kahoot, as did the older class of fourth and fifth grade students, I will not go out of my way to make another one any time soon. And, I know if I decide to use one again, I will either control the computer myself or be very clear with the classroom teacher that we need to stop (pause) the game after each question to discuss the answer. I thought I was clear on this point. But, obviously having it work that way in only 50% of my presentations last month, I need to be clearer with the educator who has invited me into their class.

What is your experience with Kahoot?

Do your students become rambunctious when playing?

I’d love to hear your experience! Thanks!

This post is for Day #2 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge hosted by the TwoWritingTeachers Blog.

4 Thoughts

    1. Thanks for your comment! I thought it would be fun too! Parts of it were. What grade do you teach? I think I would use it if I was able to be in a class on a more regular basis – know the kids, their temperament, and behavior (what gets them out of wack, etc.) I did like making it – I think as much as I liked playing it! Glad it went well for you!

      Like

  1. I love Kahoot and use it with my students (I’ve even used it with Kindergarten students). I typically use it in small groups and behaviors aren’t usually a problem. I know that the guidance counselor at my school also uses Kahoot a lot with larger groups. I also try to incorporate them into professional development presentations as a way to make the content a little more engaging. I just created one Kahoot for a session that I’m presenting at a conference next week and I’ll have some door prizes for the folks finishing in the top 3.

    I think that you were put in an unfortunate situation in that one classroom and think that you did the best that you could in that situation. Your presentations sound like wonderful opportunities for these students!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I figure I tried. I wanted to use it as a way to engage the students in the content without me “lecturing” at them. My head still spins when I think about that last classroom. I am not sure whether the settings got changed (the questions were also re-ordered) or the first teacher was stopping the flow of the questions and that’s why it worked well in her room and not the other. I was up front about having never used it before that day. I find myself reluctant to do it again. We’ll see. I think I will just have to be a lot clearer about the help I expect from staff. I wondered if word got out too, because I got a message from the principal asking me how it went. As always, and as in my post, I was honest. That last class was a very unfortunate situation.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s