Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Setting up my own memes in Quizizz

This past year, I started using Quizizz for the first time. I had been using Kahoot! for a few years, but I did like bringing in Quizizz for a couple of reasons:
  1.  The students liked a change of pace from Kahoot! and really appreciated the avatars.
  2. I liked that students were answering different questions at different times.
  3. I was able to walk around when students were done and see accuracy rates for different students (and even use those for motivation --- "The high score in 1st period was 83%. Let's see if someone can beat that!")
When Quizizz rolled out their meme creation interface, I decided to make my own for my quizzes. (Quizizz posts a meme after every answer submitted.) You can see some of the results below or find all the memes here. I tried to do some personalization (so my name or our school name appears sometimes) and emphasize that incorrect answers mean you just have to try again, learning from your mistakes.

Memes for correct answers on the left, for incorrect answers on the right

You can see I mention myself and our mascot (the Ridgewood Raiders)
It's a clever idea, but I'm not sure how much impact it had on my students. One issue I did have is that these images took longer to load than the standard Quizizz memes, so often a new question would start before a student saw the meme. However, I did get some students reacting to the memes and one who asked if I really was giving money for correct answers (as seen below):

Sadly, I did not pay the student.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Google Forms now supports quizzes!

Yes, yes, yes! Thanks to a post from Richard Byrne I learned that Google Forms now support quizzes. (You can find the official announcement here. ) I have some images from a test quiz I created below, but here are my quick takeaways:
  • The response summary page shows the most missed questions (below 50%) and now shows multiple choice responses as a bar graph instead of a pie chart.
  • You see student scores next to their email addresses.
  • You get a median, average, and range of scores.
  • If you store responses in a Google Sheet, the score is passed to that sheet.
  • You can still collect short answer responses that are ungraded --- they will still be passed to the Google Sheet.
  • There's an option where you can release scores later after your review.
  • You can give feedback for correct and incorrect answers.
In short, this is what Google Forms has needed for education for a long time. I'm looking forward to using this in my classes!

What a student sees after submission

Some basic statistical information about the quiz

Student and question breakdowns

Creating posters for my classroom

When I started teaching, I was okay with fairly blank walls (or putting up the left over posters from the teacher before me). These days, with some prodding from my administration, I do a lot more with visual imagery and try to design posters myself.

Last year, I took a look at Piktochart to create some infographics, but didn't find the interface easy enough to use for my purposes. Eventually, I just created posters in MacOS's Pages, which does a much better job of page layout than Microsoft Word.  Here's an example:

(Yes, I try to do that rap in class when possible...) In the middle of last year, I used one of the many meme generator sites ( to create some images (but sadly haven't put them up yet).

Recently, as I've looked to put more inspirational posters up in my classroom, I have taken my wife's suggestion to use Canva. It takes a while to get used to the interface (especially when adding text) and there's a lot of stuff you can pay for, but I like the results. Here's what I created today: 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Starting in on interactive notebooks

This fall, all of our core classes will be using interactive notebooks (after a pilot project in our science classes).  For someone who loves working digitally, working with paper (and glue and tape and scissors) will be a challenge, but I like the idea of students of creating a resource they can use again and again.

To help me out, I've started a Pinterest board to help me keep track of ideas. (You can find the board at Interactive notebooks for 6th grade math --- image below.) So far, I have really appreciated the coverage at --- the author has a great sense of organization, both on the notebook level and the classroom level.

Finally, a wonderful video on making glue sponges! (Because I really don't want to handle glue sticks or bottles for all of my 6th graders....)

Friday, June 24, 2016

How to use Google Forms in the classroom (with videos)

I've done a lot with Google Forms in my classroom over the last few years, with more and more as I've moved to Google Classroom. I usually have my students do two to three Google Forms a week, often as bell ringers. Since my school district is hopefully moving to GAFE for all schools, I thought I would create a few videos showing how I create, deploy, and use Google Forms.