3 Totally Brilliant Tips on Using Plickers in the Classroom

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Who’s tired of asking students, “How do you feel about (insert topic here)?” only to get blank stares and kids nodding just to get you to move on?

Or do you find yourself asking a check for understanding question, only to have a few higher achieving kids answer first and the rest follow suit?

I have found the solution to all of your check for understanding problems, and no you don’t have to be 1:1 tech for it.

Plickers is an tech(ish) way to ask your students multiple choice questions. I say that it is tech(ish) because it’s tech for you, and not for them. Now, I’m all about giving students the technology and creative freedom to use the technology, however I know that sometimes time is of the essence and you need to do a quick formative assessment to see how students feel or answer a question anonymously.

1: Assess How They Feel

Plickers is a great way to see how students feel about a topic and they don’t have to be uncomfortable asking for help in front of the class. I use Plickers after my guided practice to see how they feel about what I taught. To do this, I create one general question that I just duplicate for each day.

The beauty of Plickers, is the data is always there. You can go back to previous scans and see how your students felt based on what you taught that day.

2: Entrance Ticket

How do you know what your students need when they come in the room? Use an entrance ticket! I love seeing what students know about before the lesson so that I can teach to their specific needs. As students are entering the classroom, I have my welcome slide up so that they can see what they have to do. The next thing I do, is give them an entrance ticket using Plickers. The entrance ticket is an easy way for me to address misconceptions before teaching them the skill.

Here is an example of what I mean:

I used this strategy a lot when I taught middle school. For example, when I introduced them to order of operations I would give them an expression with every operation and three answers of the multiple choice question was solving it in a different order, usually with the most common mistakes.

When creating these entrance ticket multiple choice questions it is so important to understand the mistake that would be made with each choice so that you can address it right there. If the answers are completely random and off base, you’re not really gaining information from it other than the kids are great at taking educational guesses.

I guarantee that when if you gave this slide to your sixth grade class at least one person will choose each option. Okay, maybe not 100% guarantee, but I’m almost positive you will get at least one kid choosing each of the answers. Order of operations is one of those topics that leave a lot of room for error, especially in the beginning.

3: Exit Ticket

Similarly to an Entrance Ticket, you can use this to collect your exit ticket data. When I give it as an exit ticket, I have students complete the question on a post it note, and then show them the answer choices after they have complete the work. This helps to eliminate students just guessing an answer.

As always, thank you for stopping by & I hope you find Plickers to be a time saver in your classroom!

Enjoy!

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