Saturday, June 6, 2015

Last Day PLICKERS!

I don't know about you, but I feel excited and less pressure on the last days of school since there are no tests or art shows to worry about preparing for.  So I chose a cute bunch of first graders to be my 'guinea pigs' for a really cool application that I have heard about and was excited to try called PLICKERS! Plickers basically allows you to create PAPER- clickers.  I got to see a third grade teacher using the mimio clickers two years ago during a math lesson and it was great.  The teacher could easily ask a question to gauge the whole class' understanding and see results immediately.  The clickers are small hand held devices that usually have buttons for choices a-d that students can select during a question.  Each student is assigned a number and once they record their answer choice the teacher can access the data.


I really wanted to try using them in art because I KNOW when I am presenting info about artists or an art element or standard, there are MANY students that are 'checked out' or clearly not paying attention or interested.  The clicker allows you to address that and requires the students to be accountable for their understanding.   Unfortunately there were only a limited supply of the class clicker sets and I really did not want to deprive any interested classroom teachers. 

Then this year I discovered

the magic of PLICKERS!!!
This is a free app that teachers can get that can do all the things that clickers do without the actually clickers.  Teachers only have to print out a paper 'clicker' that has a number and a symbol that resembles a QR code and the four letter choices.  I printed one set and plan on laminating them to use for next year.

Setting up your classes online on plickers.com is a little more challenging if you are a resource teacher and have multiple classes like I do.  Luckily, if you have student names and class lists on an excel spreadsheet- it is pretty easy to copy and paste them onto the plickers site.  SO I only set up a few of the classes and it was really a snap.  So to prepare to use them with my first graders, I copied their names into plickers and they were assigned a number.  When they came to class, I explained that I needed their help trying a new cool app, and they were happy to 'help' their poor old art teacher try new tech stuff.  So I displayed their class plicker page on the projector so they could see their assigned number and then passed out their paper clicker.  
I also set up ahead of time, a few simple questions in a multiple choice format.  The questions were basically "What type of art do you like best?  A drawing B. painting C. sculpture D. collage  ?"  (I heard several cuties say COLLEGE?  what college?!) LOL

Once I read a question I showed them how to turn their card depending on which answer choice they picked.  A few kids took a minute to catch on but most LOVED it and wanted me to keep giving more questions- (even though I had only set up four)  As they held up their plicker- I would walk around and can their plicker with my iPad using the plicker app.  IT WAS really great!  and I can't wait to use it again next year!

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