Our Science department have recently bought in Tassimi and after hearing our Curriculum Director gush over it, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated that something similar for English wasn’t yet available. And then I visited Michaela and they told me about an app they use called Quizlet to aid students’ memory and retention.
So one evening last week I sat down and went to the website on my computer. It is, in fact, a great resource and incredibly simple to use.
Setting up classes
You need to set up your class and I’ve simply given my classes their names so the first group I set up was ‘11S4 Romeo FOD’. You can then invite students to join but we have actually found it easier for students to search for the full class name above and then request to join the class. Students will need to create an account for themselves first.
The intention of quizzing using this tool is simply memory retention. My students haven’t yet demonstrated a confidence in using subject terminology so the first quiz I created was one on word classes. You simply need to type in the key terms and the definitions and then the quizzing can begin. It took me all of five minutes to create. Ria, my fantastic English colleague, discovered that quizlet will actually provide definitions for you – but always check these over first! Whilst Courtney, one of our fab geography teachers, has also discovered that you can import documents to make the creation of quizzes even quicker! I initially went a little crazy and created four or five quizzes and have decided to rethink this so that I am officially offering one quiz a week and then additional quizzes for those who want to complete further study. I am simply putting these details into the titles of the quizzes.
Students have a range of activities they can complete: flashcards to test knowledge, then a learn quiz, spellings to check they can spell key terms correctly, a mix and match task and then students can test. I am encouraging mine to do as many of these activities as possible before taking the test.
Whole class feedback is shared with the teacher. This is provided in terms of the % of students who have got a question right. This tool has been invaluable. Prior to my lesson with year 11 this week, I looked at the whole class feedback and saw that only 47% of students were confident with comparative adjectives. I then re-taught this with activities to practise their identification and use of comparative adjectives and then encouraged them to re-quiz. Now 71% of students are confident with comparative adjectives. I love that I can use quizlet to inform my planning and address areas / misconceptions quickly.
Individual students – the dashboard allows me to see which students have completed which activities. When completed, this is shown up in green and if the test has been attempted, this shows up in yellow. The test feedback allows me to see the % of answers students got correct so I can see how they are progressing. I am encouraging all my students to keep quizzing a particular test until they get 100%.
One student immediately asked me if I would award prizes for those who quizzed and got 100% so am just mulling this over but the biggest win for me this week was with a student who is sadly underachieving when she turned round to me and said ‘I love quizlet. I do it on the bus every morning’ because I know she will get better using this device and that is all I want for my students.
Things to ponder / next steps:
- I contacted all parents to inform them about this app and that I expected all students to quiz for 5-10 minutes each day.
- I have four members of my faculty, across subjects trialling this out before rolling it out across the whole faculty.
- How I use the individual data to inform my next steps.