Utilizing Classkick to Create a Fun, Versatile Classroom
“That was so fun!” “Can we do this again tomorrow, Mrs. Lemon?” You might be thinking that we just wrapped up a fun game or finished a creative project. But no, my students just finished practicing 3-digit subtraction with regrouping. Yes, you read that right. Subtraction. With regrouping. What was the magic ingredient that made them ask for more subtraction problems? Classkick. One of the best things about Classkick is its versatility. My students and I use Classkick in so many ways. The most amazing feature of Classkick is the ability to see (in real time) students’ work and give students specific, actionable feedback. This app is a game changer for our classroom. It truly transforms teaching and learning. And it can transform your classroom too! Whether you have iPads or laptops, 25 devices or 5 devices - you too can find a way to positively impact your students’ learning.
My first attempt at using Classkick was during small group math instruction. This is, by far, the best way for new users to get a taste of what Classkick can offer. As students answered math questions on their iPads, they raised their virtual hands, and I could push into their page to view their work. The ability to write on a specific student’s page and give them feedback in real time was amazing! The students actually wanted me to “mark-up” their work if they made a mistake. Mistakes weren't seen as a negative anymore. And if they answered the question correctly……stickers! My students just ate up the virtual stickers - they couldn’t get enough!
After using Classkick consistently in small groups, I was intrigued to see how it would work with a whole class lesson. I decided to use Classkick during a math problem solving lesson. As the lesson continued, I could (at a glance) see every student’s work. Because of the ease of adding pages, I was able to immediately monitor and adjust by adding new questions that better met my students’ needs. My students’ motivation to improve and put more effort into their work increased dramatically with the use of the Classkick app. As students answered questions, I was able to push into a specific student’s page and use AirServer to project that student's work onto the board. Students were so excited to do their best work in the hopes of having their work showcased. As an instructional tool it was also beneficial because students were able to demonstrate several methods to solve the same problem. (Warning: During whole class lessons, I quickly learned that virtual hand-raising was overwhelming and difficult keep up with. Instead, I answered students' questions verbally and didn't give stickers.)
Classkick is an app that allows for real-time formative assessment, but has other valuable uses. During independent center work, I quickly realized how valuable Classkick could be. I was able to assign activities that the students could work through at their own pace. Adding a voice recording to slides allowed me to virtually coach the students though the activity. Once students completed the activity in Classkick, I was able to review it at a later time and give feedback. This app allowed students to be self-paced, independent learners. Students have also used Classkick to add recordings of reading passages. The students and I can listen back to their recordings, reflect on their reading fluency, and set goals. It’s easy to differentiate for all students because you can create different assignments with different leveled passages - each student just signs into the code that meets their need.
Piloting a new math program this year is an exciting, yet challenging experience. Classkick to the rescue– but this time for homework. This new program does not come with specific homework activities. Although I always have objectives about what we will accomplish each day – there are days that don’t go as planned. By using Classkick, I can create one assignment for the entire chapter’s homework and add to it each day. Adding the homework assignment after we complete each lesson allows me to make sure that students are truly practicing what we have learned that day and should be able to independently complete the task. I can view their homework each day and leave them constructive feedback – and of course more stickers! No matter how we use Classkick, students’ learning is enriched. I am able to gather a wealth of formative assessment information and give them meaningful, actionable feedback. It has helped me to adjust my instruction to meet their needs and move them forward as learners. I know I’ve just scratched the surface with what we can do with Classkick. How are you using it in your classroom? Please leave a comment below.
Jaime Lemon is a 2nd grade teacher in Central Bucks School District located in Doylestown, PA. She has been teaching in an iPad classroom for 5 years, in both 2:1 and 1:1 settings. She enjoys developing new and creative ways to help her students learn and inspiring other educators to use technology with their students.