Review and warmer activities using technology
There are many ways you can use technology to review language in the classroom or to warm students up at the beginning of the lesson. Here are some suggestions for ways to do that with relevant links and guides:
- 1 Reviewing language using Socrative
- 2 Using QR Codes for revision
- 3 Using Quizlet to build and review vocabulary
Reviewing language using Socrative
Socrative is a wonderful web and mobile tool that allows teachers to create quizzes and easily give them to students. Teachers can create and adminster quizzes using the Socrative website, then students can respond to the quizzes using their mobile device. Here you can see an example of what the students would see when they are answering the quiz.
Teachers can view a live dashboard of how the students are doing while they are taking a quiz.
You can also choose whether the quiz is done at the students pace or the teachers pace. You can also create a quiz called Space Race, which is a competitive game where the students see how well they are doing in the quiz compared to other students/groups by a rocket icon on the board.
How to create a quiz using Socrative
You need to go to the Socrative website and click on Get A Free Account in the centre of the page. Once you’ve registered, you should then see your start screen.
(1) Dashboard is from where you can start a normal Quiz or a Space Race quiz.
(2) Manage Quizzes is where you create a new quiz or edit an existing one.
(3) Live results is where you can see the live answers of students as they are doing the quiz.
Before you can start a quiz you need to create one. Go to Manage Quizzes and click Create Quiz. You will then need to give your quiz a name. Once you’ve done that, you can start to create quiz questions, choosing from the three options: Multiple Choice, True/False or Short Answer.
Create your questions by (1) writing the question in the space, then (2) fill out any answer choices. Make sure you indicate (3) which is the correct answer. Once you have finished creating all your questions, click (4) Save and Exit.
How to administer a quiz to students
Once you’ve created a quiz, it’s easy then to adminster to the students.
Click on (1) dashboard then (2) Start Quiz. (3) Select your Quiz from the list.
You can then choose to have it student-paced or controlled by the teacher (1), adjust additional settings (2) and then click START (3). The quiz is now running.
How students can access and take the quiz
it’s very simple for students to take the quiz. On their mobile phones or on the computer, they go to m.socrative.com and they will be asked to Enter Teacher’s Room Code.
This is a code you will find at the top of your screen in your teacher account.
Once they have entered that code, they are ready to take the quiz.
During the quiz you can monitor the students answers and results through the Live Results tab at the top.
Using QR Codes for revision
QR Codes are those strange bar code type things you will often see on advertisements or products that you can scan with your phone to link to a website or to just give you some information. You will normally need a special app on your phone to do that, if you have a smartphone, just go to the App/Play Store on your phone and search for QR Code Reader, you will quickly find lots of free ones you can download. Why not try it on the QR Code below? This should link to the Wikipedia page on QR Codes!
It’s incredibly simple to create these codes – and a bit further on I’ll explain how – but first a few ideas on how to use them in class. Because QR codes are small can be scanned to display either text or weblinks, they are great for dotting around the class and getting students up and out of their chairs. Here are some options for using them:
Using QR Codes for Group Discussions
Maybe you want students to discuss around a particular topic, either something they’re going to study or have already studied. Create QR codes for each of the questions, dot them around the room (it’s often good to make them difficult to find to make it more interesting!) and then get students to go around the room in small groups, scanning the QR codes and then discussing the question that appears. This is very similar to traditional group discussions or gallery discussions round the room, but the added tech dimension can increase the energy levels a little.
Using QR Codes for Vocabulary Revision
Just as you can embed questions in QR Codes, you can also just embed vocabulary items you’ve studied in class. Again, students can go round the class and discuss the meanings in pairs/small groups. Alternatively, you can set it up as a running dictation activity. Get them into pairs. They take it in turns to go and find a QR code round the room, go back to their partner and get them to write it down. Once they’ve written them all down, they have to check the meaning together or complete a gap-fill activity. The team that finishes first is the winner.
Using QR Codes for peripheral learning
Since QR codes take up so little space and can contain large amounts of information, you can easily embed guides/grammar information behind them and put them up around the room. This can then be something that students go round the room and scan when they arrive early to class or when they have finished an activity early. There’s no reason why this has to be done by the teacher either. Students can create texts/guides in groups and then make a QR code out of them that can be printed out and added to the wall.
How to create QR Codes
It is incredibly simple to do this. There are many websites you can use, but the one I’ve found to be very user-friendly is QR Droid Zapper. On this page, select the type of information you want to enter, e.g. weblink (URL) or text (1), enter the information in the box (2) and then click Generate QR Code (3).
Once you’ve done that, a code will be generated below. You can then right click on the code and select ‘save as image/picture’ or ‘copy image/picture’ and then either save to your computer or paste into a Word/Google document. If you are going to save it to your computer, I would recommend giving it a specific name to help you identify it (e.g. discussion question on football), otherwise you’ll end up with lots of files called ‘QR Code’ and you’ll find it difficult to find the exact code you want to use (or more importantly, reuse)
Using Quizlet to build and review vocabulary
Quizlet is a very popular website for creating flashcards for self or class study. To see what it can do, go to this page where I created a list of academic English terms. Along the top you can click on flashcards (1) to see the vocab cards (click on the word to see the definition on the other side, you can also listen to the pronunciation). Click on Learn (2) to quickly check if you can remember them, Speller (3) to hear the words and then try to type them correctly. Test (4) creates a short quiz with different question types and Scatter (5) and Space Race (6) are fun games using those words. All of these activities are generated automatically once you’ve created your word list and can provide students with hours of practice. Try some of them out and see.
Quizlet on Mobile
Quizlet also has excellent apps for both Android (Samsung, Sony etc) and Apple devices. It doesn’t have quite as many features as the web version but it still has the Cards (1), Learn (2) and Match (3) (similar to the Scatter game). It can also be easily used in a web browser window on the phone as well so students don’t even have to download the app.
How can Quizlet be used in class?
Quizlet can be used a quick, fun way of revising vocabulary students have studied in class. So, for example, you could create a list of ten to twelve words you learnt the previous lesson and at the start/end of a lesson, you could send students the link to them and they study them and then do the Learn and Match activities. Match is particularly fun because it’s timed and students can compare how quickly they got the answers.
Or, you can use Quizlet as a tool for compiling an ongoing vocabulary list of all the words studied in class. This can be one long list or a series of shorter lists (e.g. every week). Also, rather than you having to compile the list every week, this is a job that you can assign to students as you can either give them editing rights to the lists you’ve created or they can create their own lists and add them to a ‘class’ you’ve created.
How to create a word list in Quizlet
First, make sure you have signed up for Quizlet, click on sign up in the top right and use either your email or Facebook/Google+. Once you have done that, click on Create a Study Set at the top of the page.
On the following page, you give your vocabulary set a name (1). You can also change who can view (2) and edit (3) your sets. If you want your students to access these lists, remember to make it visible to everyone. You can add your words and definitions (4) in the main area by typing them yourself. However, you can also search other users definitions of your term by clicking the search button (5). When you’ve finished creating your set, click Create (6)
Sharing your Quizlet set with your students
Once you click Create, you will get a box with the option to share on Twitter/Facebook, as well as a link that you can share directly with students.
If you don’t want to share with your students immediately, you can always access those share options later by clicking on the small share button at the top of the vocabulary set.
Creating a Class
If you plan to create a variety of vocab lists for a class, you can create a Quizlet class and then add those lists to that class.
On any of your vocabulary lists, click on Add to Class on the right
You can then add the list to an existing class (1) or create a new one (2)
You then need to fill in some details about the class such as the name (1) and whether new members can add sets to the class (2). Then click Create class (3).
Your class is now created. You can copy the link from the other page to give to students so they can join (though they must sign up first).
When students go to the link and sign in, they can click Request to Join Class. They will not be added immediately but will need to be approved by you, the teacher.
When students apply to join the class, you will need to go to the class and accept any requests.