With so many classrooms virtual this year and so many websites promising to engage your students, it can be challenging to know where to start. Or perhaps, what was once working, is no longer working. Here are 5 ideas for engaging students online.
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If you haven’t heard about the Blooket website by now, go look right now! It is a website with various games that are preloaded for you to play with your students. This is not a new idea, but what sets Blooket apart is the games are themed – so while your students are solving math questions, they are also unlocking treasure or going on a racing adventure!
When planning, keep in mind that these problems are going to be skills-based practice. Make sure that students are also seeing higher level thinking problems in some other form. If you haven’t checked it out, the games Battle Royale, Santa’s Workshop, Racing, and Treasure Chest come highly recommended as a good starting point.
#2 Gamify your classroom with badges
Digital badges are a feature on various learning management systems. These are easy ways to “gamify” your classroom. Students earn badges for completing different things — and you get to decide. It could be as simple as being logged into Zoom on time, turning on your camera for the lesson, or submitting an assignment on time. Really whatever pain point you are trying to fix can be turned into a “badge.”
If your LMS doesn’t have badges, then check out Badgr. Badgr allows you to create, design, and distribute your own badges, and then use them in your LMS.
If you are ready to take gamification to the next level, check out ClassCraft. The free version allows you to use badges as incentives and the paid version allows you to create learning quests and interactive tools.
#3 Digital Math Activities
Our Maneuvering the Middle digital math activities are interactive through Google Slides and have a formative assessment through Google Forms.
UPDATE: ALGEBRA I DIGITAL ACTIVITIES ARE NOW AVAILABLE!
I personally love that they provide high quality supplemental practice that isn’t drill and kill and really allow students to apply what they are learning! Classroom technology that is effective and engaging. Grab a free set for 6th, 7th, 8th, and Algebra by clicking below.
This way you can try them out with students and see if they are a good fit! If you love the freebie, you can find more here.
GimKit has changed since we last blogged about it. Their free version only allows for 5 players at a time, but since there are so many fun interactive games, I would recommend trying out their free 30 day trial to see if it would work in your classroom. The paid version starts at around $5.
GimKit is always creating new interactive games, but also pulls down old games too. They keep things interesting!
If you are looking to try GimKit, then be sure to play Trust No One and Boss Battle if they are available. And be sure to check out our GimKit blog post to get other ideas and inspiration for how to utilize this fun game!
#5 Chrome Extensions Form Limiter and Quilgo.
Chrome extensions are some of my favorite classroom technology. Form Limiter is an extension that puts a due date on a Google Form assessment. It allows you to close the assessment to students which will (hopefully) cut down on late assignments.
Quilgo allows you to put a time limit on the Form. So, you can tell it to only allow 15 minutes for a short quiz or an hour for the test. This keeps students on track and limits their ability to use outside resources because of the time limit. This wouldn’t work for students that require extra time on their IEP or 504. But, you could easily copy that form and set a different time limit as needed.
This is also perfect for our MTM teachers because all of our assessments are now in Google Forms – mini-quizzes, quizzes, and unit tests to save you time and energy! If you want all of your assessments written AND in Google Forms, check out our curriculum here. You can also find all Maneuvering the Middle digital assessments here.
What classroom technology keeps your students engaged?