The great Kahoot workaround

I love getting to learn new teaching strategies through having Eric as an apprentice teacher this semester!

My first period geometry class is very, very quiet. Too quiet. It is a challenge to get any energy and discussion going in that class.

Yesterday, Eric mentioned that he was thinking about trying Kahoot with the class since it can be engaging for students and can increase the energy in the room.  I told him that while I like the program, I dislike that it rewards and encourages speed. I know students are more successful if they take time to think first and don’t just rush to get the best answer.

Here is Eric‘s solution:

  1. After logging in to Kahoot, but before the question is presented, tell students to turn their laptops around or put their phones on the table facing down.
  2. The question is projected using Kahoot. Students can discuss, but they cannot touch their device while the timer is counting down.
  3. Once all students have had enough time to discuss the problem, but before the timer is up, the teacher says GO!
  4. Then it is a race to click their solution quickly.
  5. Turn devices back around and repeat.

*A modification of this approach using relay races: Have each team place their device along the perimeter of the room, or other side of some line, then have the students stand on the opposite side of the room in their teams. Project the question and once students have had enough time to discuss the solution, yell GO, and a member of each team can race to their device to enter the answer.

So simple and so effective! I am thrilled to be able to use Kahoot again with my students while de-emphsizing speed and increasing student thinking!

5 thoughts on “The great Kahoot workaround

  1. Love this solution. I also am not a fan of speed – completely defeats what “growth mindset” promotes. We are having a different problem with Kahoot in our school. Friday when a teacher started his Kahoot game for his class of 20 students he quickly had 60 students playing (but not really playing) the game. Someone had sent out the game code and completely ruined the game – RATS!

  2. Quizizz is a great alternative to kahoot. I don’t like kahoot for math for the same reason! You can turn the timer off, but still keep a leader board. You can scramble questions or leave in the same order so kids can work together. Having a student intern is the best!!

  3. I had the same feelings about Kahoot, especially because the time limits are very frustrating and defeating to those of my students who have limited English skills or processing issues. Here’s a workaround that still allows fun competition but allows everyone a shot at success.

    I choose the Kahoot problems and print them on a sheet (one sheet per team, in a sheet protector so they can dry-erase on it) or sometimes cut them apart and put them in an envelope. Then I give them to the kids BEFORE we Kahoot. Teams have a reasonable amount of time (20-30 min., depending on the type and number of problems) and I set the timer.

    When the timer dings, we start the Kahoot. Teams are now racing to enter answers they have already figured out. The speed factor comes in because the problems might not be in the same order as they were on the sheet. I generally set the time very short (30 sec.) because they’re just figuring out which problem that is from the worksheet and then entering the answer they already found.

    The kids love this, because it takes off the time pressure and allows them to work at their own pace, get help, and still feel like they can compete in the game. My special ed and English learners feel like they can participate. Some kids get nervous under time pressure and guess or just give up. Now everyone solves all the problems.

    I like it because it keeps the fun of the game while greatly shortening the crazy-intense time of the actual game. Students are motivated to do their best because they want to do well on the Kahoot. It de-emphasizes the speed aspect and encourages the kids to show/organize their work a little neater so they can actually find the answers in a hurry! And it almost completely eliminates the problem of students just guessing so their answer can be first. (Of course they know they’re not supposed to guess, but eighth graders are a little immature sometimes). I also like it because some problems that are just not realistic to solve in two minutes (surface area of prisms, anyone?) can now be Kahoot’ed.

    And yes, Quizizz is awesome. One of the best things about it is that everyone can start at different times (for example, after finishing a practice set at their own pace) and still compete. They can even compete with students in different class periods. I’ve had students from earlier class periods come back and redo their Quizizz because someone in a later class period beat their score!

    Hope this helps! Thanks for an awesome, inspiring blog!

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