In Learning Family (homeroom) this week, we asked students to write a One Word New Year’s Resolution on a word bubble to be made into a bulletin board. (I found out that Annabelle is doing the same this year!!! Great minds…) As an example, I shared my reasoning for picking BALANCE. I love my job (I REALLLLY love that I just typed that because from August-December this year, I have NOT been loving my job, but things are finally looking up!!!!!), and I tend to pour hours and hours into planning and re-inventing the wheel. However, when I do that, I’m not taking care of myself outside of school. Selfishly, I didn’t turn in my word bubble with the students’, rather, I taped it on the filing cabinet next to my desk so that I can look at it daily!
With balance in mind, I decided that Friday would be “just one of those Fridays” in terms of planning and teaching. As such, I turned to Quizlet Live. I haven’t used it in YEARS (in fact, I can tell you the name of the students who were in my class the last time I used it since one of them was so competitive and frustrated that he ended up walking out it tears 😦 when his team lost a round), and I decided it was time to try again.
I have used MANY different point systems, over the years; my current is a bit intricate but I love it. Every 15 days, I schedule a prize day. Classes can earn positive check marks, three of which lead to the prize day moving a day sooner. This means that our prize days usually occur every 12 or 13 school days. Through trial and error, I have come up with specific expectations for prize days (surprise, surprise). Prize days are not free days; I start class with my normal routine – Lectura Libre, Do Now, read our Objective, etc. – and never repeat a prize until we have gone through the entire list (students get to vote on the next thing the day before the prize day).
However, I really wanted to play Quizlet Live (which wasn’t even on my list previously) with some basic Spanish phrases as a review and a bit of forced repetition. Plus, I thought it would be fun during the first week back and a great way to start off second semester. So, I conveniently forgot on Thursday to have my classes vote on their prize days. I also conveniently moved 2 class’ prize days one day sooner, so everyone earned it on Friday.
Rather than explain specifics of the game, we played one round of Quizlet live as sort of a figure-it-out round. After, I gave Jolly Ranchers to the winners in each round (best out of 3). After each round, I re-shuffled the teams, students changed seats, and we played again. My students absolutely loved it!!!!! I’m not sure that the teacher with the classroom below me loved it, however. I admit that I sort of forgot about her, and when I saw her in the hall and she asked what in the world we were doing, I apologized profusely! Luckily, we’re friends, so it’s ok. 🙂 Also, I offered to teach her the game when she needs a review of academic math vocabulary! Beware, it can get extremely exciting and competitive!
So, when you need a very low prep, high energy, high engagement, collaborative, fun day, I highly encourage trying out Quizlet Live. I’m not going to explain the play-by-play of how it works, because if you play once, you’ll completely understand!!! Two tips are that each student needs their own device, and students should sit with their team so that they can collaborate. Students are always happy to be your guinea pig class!
The best part was that I had one student come into period 7 after having a really terrible day. He was not psyched to participate and actually, initially refused. I essentially told him it was not an option, and within one round, he was smiling, helping his team, and feeling super successful. I checked in with him after the class to apologize for forcing him play, but he was smiling, happy and back to his normal self!!!!!! 🙂