You know how you always keep a couple of tricks up your sleeve and a few strategies in your back pocket? Well, Quizizz is another one to add to your collection. I checked it out briefly last weekend; I liked how easy it was to sign up and especially how intuitive the interface is. Within a couple of minutes, I had a 15-question quiz on the types of sentences based on the myriad of existing (and editable) questions other teachers had created.
(Tony Vincent at Learning in Hand created this handy graphic of the key differences.)
Due to a modified testing schedule for the state writing test, the only class I saw on Tuesday was my last period. They were restless after being in lockdown mode for most of the day, and I didn’t want to start the next day’s lesson… so I decided to do a test run of Quizizz. Our non-profit, public charter school doesn’t have the funding to provide a ton of technology, so I mainly rely on 1 provided HP student laptop and my 4 Chromebooks that I acquired during this past year through Donors Choose. I borrowed one more laptop from another teacher, and I was good to go.
Introducing Quizizz to Students
Selling the idea of Quizizz is really easy: all you have to say is “we’re going to play a game!” The website is very student-friendly, and even has the option to include funny memes after each question. The rest really takes care of itself–no special instructions necessary. (Again, this is a GREAT resource for last-minute activities!)
The Logistics: Set up
My 24 desks are set up in six groups of four, so I easily divided up my 6th period class into groups of three and gave each a laptop.
Getting the kids logged on to the session was a breeze — I just wrote “Quizizz.com” and the session code on the board. I let them choose their own silly team names and they got a kick out of seeing the other group’s names pop up on the leaderboard.
Begin the Session
After selecting your quiz, click “Play Live!” on the main screen, or assign for homework later. Then, click “Proceed” after making any changes to the settings.
I don’t know about you, but I really appreciate how easy and straightforward this website is to use. As teachers, we already invest so much time into preparing our lessons, so it’s refreshing to have a quality resource that takes very little preparation and front-loading. (But just in case you weren’t sure what to do, Quizizz also includes helpful videos.)
Next, it’s just a matter of waiting for the students (the “Troops”) to log in to the session. Click “Start Game,” and let the fun begin!
In short, my eighth graders loved the 15-question quiz on Sentence Structure. (Now, re-read that sentence and be amazed. Teenagers actually enjoyed a quiz on THE TYPES OF SENTENCES. I’m breaking my own rule on capitalization to emphasize that.) They were engaged, communicating about their responses, and explaining why dependent clauses made a sentence complex, etc.
The 15 questions only took about 10 minutes, so that was a lesson learned, too. Quizizz can be great for those last few minutes of a class period and you want to review key concepts.
But since we had 40 more minutes of class, we decided to try another quiz. I typed in “Sentence Structure” in the search box, and clicked on the first one of many. I warned the students that I hadn’t previewed the questions, so I wasn’t sure how hard the quiz would be. Turn out it was 98 questions… oops.
Despite the length of the quiz, the students were enthusiastic and appreciated all the practice with sentence structure. They got a good laugh out of the funny memes, and the constantly updated leaderboard added that competitive edge. By they end, they were extra careful to answer correctly because each team wanted the bragging rights of winning!
Favorite Features of Quizizz
- Since the students view the questions and options on their own devices, it frees up the teacher to walk around and monitor. I was able to let the quiz run its course, listen in to how the students were discussing the possible answers, and give feedback– That’s not possible to do with other assessments like Kahoot or Plickers.
- You can turn the Question Timer option on or off. Sometimes, adding a time bonus is a good thing, but it can be distracting and inadvertently rush students into answering without thinking.
- You can choose whether students view the answer after each question. The first round, I left this feature off. The second round, I turned it on, and students’ answers were improving since they were able to adjust after making mistakes.
- Easy to Understand Reports — available by team, student, or question. Not so necessary for a review game, but definitely useful if used for homework.
- Perfect for BYOD or teams with laptops. Fortunately for me, my large 15″ Chromebooks make it easy for everyone to see the screen at once.
- Review games for tests — especially reviews suited for multiple choice answers, like concepts, matching, definitions & vocabulary.
- Practice & reinforcement — This would be a great exit-ticket strategy.
The fact that my students came in the next day and wanted to play it again says a lot about the quality of this website. I will definitely use it with my other classes, and I look forward to exploring the other features that the website has to offer!