Sunday, 17 August 2014

Using 'Socrative' In The Classroom

Having been asked on Twitter tonight whether I had used a piece of software called Socrative by @grahamandre, I thought it might be useful to write a post about the different ways I have used it.

I was first introduced to Socrative in a staff meeting by our then ICT Lead. I was then given further ideas about how to use it from the excellent Lee Parkinson (@ICT_MrP) on his training course. To register as a teacher for Socrative, you need to go and sign up as a teacher. You will be given a room number. The children will use this room number to access the activities you design. The activities come in the form of 'quizzes' that you design which is a very easy process.

Your children access the room either using the Socrative app or by going through the student section of the website. They enter the room number and access the 'quizzes' that you have created using your teacher account. Their responses are then displayed on your teacher account screen which I have on my laptop connected to the IWB.

Ways that I have used Socrative in the classroom:
1. Sentence activity (similar to slow writing which was developed by David Didau @learningspy). Ask the children to write a sentence with given criteria e.g. a Noun, who/which/where sentence (One of Alan Peat's Exciting Sentences). The children respond on their iPad/laptops and all their reposes are then displayed on the IWB together. This can then generate discussion about which is the most effective sentence and why.

2. This was an idea from Lee Parkinson. You can add pictures to a quiz you create. Then you can ask the children to write short descriptions of the setting. Again all their responses are displayed together. This means you ca then ask them to pick things out from each other's descriptions or discuss improvements etc.

3. In Maths (another of Lee's ideas) I have used the multiple choice quizzes. When the children respond to these , the results are displayed as a bar chart allowing for instant data-handling work.

4. In geography, my class were debating whether the Metrolink line being built near school was a good idea or not. The children submitted through Socrative their reasons for/against. The responses were displayed automatically. I then asked the children to look for common threads in their reasoning and which reasons they thought were the most persuasive. Finally, we used each other's responses to write persuasively about the issue.

There are different types of quizzes you can set up for your children to answer depending on what kind of outcome/response you want. Quizzes can be saved for future use within your teacher account.

I found it useful to display the room number I use on the wall in the classroom to save having to remind the children. I also found that having something else for the children to do once they had responded helped to keep them engaged e.g. looking for patterns in the responses.

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