General Science and Teaching

Increasing Student Engagement in Science Lessons

Hello Fellow Science Educators. If you are like me, then you're always looking for ways to make learning fun and engaging for you and your students.  If you have not tried Kahoot.it then you should. Kahoot is a free game-based learning platform for teachers.  Students play, learn, compete, have fun and celebrate together!  I recently used a Kahoot that I created to review for an exam with my students and it was awesome! Sign up for an account on Kahoot.com. Students go to kahoot.it for the learning game and enter the Game PIN. Students can respond using their phones, tablets or iPads, and computers. Try a Kahoot with your class today and share ways that you get your students engaged and excited about learning about science.   Visit https://kahoot.com/how-to-play-kahoot/ for inspiring ways to Kahoot!

Raquel Ratchford
Raquel Ratchford
90 Activity Points

I agree that Kahoot is fun and engaging. There are so many great apps out there like Nearpod, Quizziz, and Smithsonian. I think the apps can work as a way for students to self-assess after conducting experiments or as a way for students to create questions to challenge other students' learning.

Pamela Dupre
Pam Dupre
92299 Activity Points

Kahoot is awesome! I have seen it used in other classrooms before as a pre-service teacher and I can't wait to try it in my own classroom soon!!

Erin Scroggin
Erin Scroggin
3185 Activity Points

Hello Raquel, I am a first semester student teacher in Houston Texas. I have to say that I love using Kahoots. I remember using them in many of my college courses which made it fun and exciting. Recently, my cooperating teacher and I had a training where we learned about another program that is similar to Kahoots which I think you might like as well. It is called Quizziz. The difference that I found interesting was that when using Quizziz, the teacher could assign the students "homework." This would allow the students, if they can, practice for tests at home on their own time. We tried it out just today in the classroom as a quick test and the students absolutely enjoyed it. At the end of each class, all the students had asked if we could use this more often for future tests. Eddy Martinez

Eddy Martinez
Eddy Martinez
1440 Activity Points

Raquel, I couldn't agree more! I'm a student teacher and I am always looking for engaging activities to do with my students. I am in a fifth grade class and I don't know about ya'll but in the spring we are getting ready for all those state exams and those can be so boring for students. Kahoot is an awesome alternative to studying for key terms and implementing strategies they need to know for these tests. I want to add a great tidbit of info for those who haven't tried this. They have pre-made "exams or quizzes" for almost anything you could imagine. For example, I am in a reading and writing class right now and we had a substitute on Friday. We got done with our lessons and such super early, but I still wanted to give my students the opportunity to study for their benchmark this week. This was perfect because I went on to their website and searched for 5th grade reading and writing S.T.A.R. and there were many to choose from. If you are in a crunch for time but want to give your students some extra tlc this is perfect! Try it out!!

Samantha Evans
Samantha Evans
280 Activity Points

Raquel talking about kahoots, I agree with you they are engaging for children. Recently, I was observing a 5th grade science class and let me tell you they were actively learning as they answered questions about the the ecosystem. Its fun for them because they get to play in teams, and that means theres competition between them. Kahoots can be used as a summative assessment right after the teacher is finished teaching a lesson about any subject. I learned that games like Kahoot are helpful for teachers to help them see which students understand and which students to not understand.

Lory Hernandez
Lory Hernandez
1183 Activity Points

Raquel, Thank you for sharing about Kahoot. I am currently student teaching in a 4th grade Math and Science. Due to standardize testing Science more often than not gets shoved in the corner. In the rare occasion that we do have a few minutes for Science the students are either working on pages from their textbooks or using an I-pad for research on a topic. With the students already using technology to research, I think it is great for them to have an alternate game based learning platform. This will be very engaging as students love to play games. Once Thank you for the information.

Isabel Asker
Isabel Asker
410 Activity Points

Hi Raquel! Thank you for sharing to us about Kahoot. I am currently student teaching in an elementary school and actually have never heard of Kahoot or seen it in class before. I’m in a reading/math class, so having knowing about this app will give me ideas for my future classroom. And I could share it to other teachers because now in classes we have so many technology devices and students are easily engaged to technology.

Carolina Olvera
Carolina Olvera
415 Activity Points

Hello Raquel, I agree with you on this! Kahoot is a fun resource to use in the classroom, it sure does grab the student's attention. I have used Kahoot before and it was a fun expereince! Technology is a very important aspect in today's classroom setting, using Kahoot allows the students to interact with technology. Personally, I would use Kahoot in my future classroom. Thank you for the advice. 

Marissa Luna
Marissa Luna
220 Activity Points

Hi Raquel, 

As a student and a future teacher I think that Kahoot is great tool to implement in a classroom because it's fun and it helps asses students understaning. I've had professors use Kahoot and I really enjoyed the excercise we had. I can't way to have my own classroom and use innovative ways to make learning exciting. 

Noemi Garza
Noemi Garza
55 Activity Points

Has anyone had their students try the Kahoot on their phone? If so, how did your students respond? I have done Kahoots on the Chromebooks and I know that my students love them. They even ask me to do more of them. Definitely a nice tool to have in the toolbox!

Ashley Bowling
Ashley Bowling
350 Activity Points

Hello, I totally agree! Kahoot helps a lot with student engagement in the classroom. It is a fun effective way to get students involved and see how much they actually know. Kahoot's design promotes independent knowledge and thinking. I believe that it also alleviates some of the students' stress when it comes to testing. 

Terrisa Russell
Terrisa Russell
290 Activity Points

Hello,

 

I agree, Kahoot is an amazing tool to use in the classroom. I have used kahoot for activities with students in after school programs, with college student, clubs and organization and they all seem to love it. It brings a level of excitment to the learning process. They want to win and in order to win you have to answer the fastest and correctly. As a future educator, I plan on using Kahoot in my classroom

Jenniffer Dorcinvil
Jenniffer Dorcinvil
420 Activity Points

Hi Raquel!

I agree that Kahoot is a great resource to use in classrooms. Along with using it as review, you can also use it as a formative assessment to figure out what your students know! I used this to start a lesson in a 3rd grade classroom about genes, and how we inherit them from our parents. For the Kahoot, we showed pictures of two dogs, and the students had to pick the picture of the dog that they think would come from the two parent dogs. This was a great way to get the students excited, and see what all they knew already!

Emily Kramer
Emily Kramer
1935 Activity Points

I've used Kahoot sometimes and have also found that many of the kids get thoroughly engaged.  However, I've had a hard time getting everybody in a middle school class to join the games.  They use unrecognizable names to join so it's hard to find out which 12 kids in a class of 25 are refusing to join.  I think it tends to be the kids who do not know the subject or are slow processors and have learned that they always lose to the "smart" kids and quick readers.  Some of the regular teachers I know have quit using it for this reason. 

Do any of you know if I can put restrictions on their sign in names to make it easier to identify who is refusing to join?  Also, can I adjust the time allowed for answering and remove the time portion of the competition so that the slower processors and slower readers also have a chance?  As many as 20% of our kids can't read the questions and answer choices in the time normally allowed in Kahoot.it games, so they just give up.

I would really like to use this tool more, but I need to find solutions to these two challenges in order to make it useful.  Thank you for any suggestions any of you may have.

I have found that kids who have phones can often play more easily on their phones than on computers and I have not had trouble with them using the phones for other purposes during Kahoot.it games.  That leaves any class laptops available for the kids who do not have phones.

Karen Robinette

Wasilla, Alaska

Karen Robinette
Karen Robinette
170 Activity Points

Prior to playing the game, you can turn on the random name generator. Students don’t like it because they can’t make their own names, but it takes out inappropriate names all together. It also gives you a count of how many are signed in before starting the game. If I know I have 24 students total that day and only 22 players are showing, I do a quick anonymous shout out like.. okay in order for all of us to play, we need 2 more! I go around and check the screens of the Chrome-books and phones. I do not make my whole class Kahoot or other game reviews optional. I make it known that it is a participation is expected. I don’t usually use Kahoot or other game reviews as grades, but other teachers do use it as a homework grade. Do you have GoGuardian? I would suggest IT to install it for your Chrome-books. You can add all your students emails per class, run your period schedule, and it monitors all of their screen work whether you’re viewing it live or not. I run the Kahoot game on my laptop with the Smartboard. I like to create a new tab on my desk PC with GoGuardian running in front of me so I can easily everyone’s screens when they’re doing Kahoot or game reviews online. I don’t have to walk around, I can run the Kahoot and monitor from the front. If I see someone go on YouTube and pretend to play the game, I simply shut down the YouTube page and send a message to tell them they have another chance to come back to the class review. I don’t let students use their cell phones if it’s something I want to collect data from. I tell them that if they choose to use the school’s WiFi on personal devices they are allowing the school to have access to their files. They don’t like that so they go on the Chromebooks. Cheers, Cheska

Cheska Robinson
Cheska Robinson
5065 Activity Points

I couldn't agree more with you, Kahoot is a great way to keep students entertained and paying attention. I'm in college and some of my professors have even used Kahoot, so it works all around. I will definitely use it in my classroom one day. You can even add background sound to Kahoot while they answer questions I learned this from a classmate of mine who did a Kahoot for a presentation we had.

I was wondering what else can we do as educators to increase students engagement in science lessons, so I can use it in my classroom someday. Is there more technology apps to use or outdoor things to keep students learning but having fun in science. 

Kayla Espiricueta
Kayla Espiricueta
100 Activity Points

I agree! Kahoot is also a very fun way to engage students while reviewing content. I have been in a variety of settings in which Kahoot was used and in most if not all of them everyone was engaged and eager to participate.

Giselle Alejos
Giselle Alejos
45 Activity Points

I have found that although many of my students love Kahoot, they are beginning to get bored with it becuase it is played so much in their different classes. One new website that is similar to Kahoot is called Gimkit. This website is really cool and the students seem to get into it more becuase they are earning money as they play which they can then use to freeze each others screen or upgrade where they are earning more money for each correct question. It adds a level of competition that Kahoot doesn't have which seems to also add a level of engagement for many students. 

Charissa Barnhill
Charissa Barnhill
1514 Activity Points

Hello! I agree that Kahoot is an excellent resource to engage your students! I have seen it used in a second grade classroom to a college level classroom. Another realy nice feature of Kahoot is that you can access previous Kahoots made by other educators by searching for different types of criteria. I am currently an in-service teacher and I have even observed my Cooperating Teacher use Kahoot to take a form of a grade as an assessment. She was able to take the students' usernames (which was their first and last initial) and generate reports on the student's results from the Kahoot.

Since I am an Early Childhood Major, none of my current students have cellphones during school so them being able to use a smart phone to access a Kahoot would be impossible. As much as I love Kahoot, we only have limited amounts of computers that are accessible to the class and cannot log all the students on to participate. We would however, do small groups possibly!

Brooke Gray
Brooke Gray
445 Activity Points

Kahoot is a lot of fun!  You are right when you say the students celebrate as a group.  I have found that this platform works well on both iPads and phones.  My students love to use this as a review tool during class for a test.  I have found that I can  also use it as a active pre test - which helps me see where the students stand prior to teaching a topic.  Live feed back is a great tool for knowing what parts of a topic need to be emphasized,

Jennifer Hicks
Jennifer Hicks
660 Activity Points

I used this in a 2nd grade classroom and it went extremely well! The students love being able to have their own devices (iPads) and seeing themselves on the scoreboard if they answered the questions correctly. They thought the music in the background motivated them to actually answer the question instead of simply clicking on an answer. I remember using this as a student myself and I always thought this was an "out of the box" way to study! I love that not only are you able to create your own, but you have access to so many other Kahoots that have been made as well. 

Whitnee Gallaher
Whitnee Gallaher
1940 Activity Points

I just finished up my studnet teaching and my studnets loved Kahoot anytime that we got the chance to use it however, sometimes we didn't have access to the Chromebooks therefore we couldn't use this as often as we wanted. However, another great reasrouce to use that keeps my studnets engaged is Teachers Tryscience on this website they have tons of online experiments that allow you to complete with my studnets. This is a great resource because sometimes we don't have access to all the materials we need to complete an experiment however, with it being on the website we are able to complete it successfully without needing any materials and my studnets are still fully engaged because sometimes they like listening to other people than their teachers teaching them. This website is a membership program however, if you don't want to pay for another webiste you can use the exploratorium which is very similar. This website also provides hands-on experinces to help our studnets learn about scientific principals. I have found that both of these websites help my students stay engaged during the whole lesson even more than when I am doing the experiment.  

Lindsey Wolfe
lindsey wolfe
840 Activity Points

I've done Nearpod and the students absolutely loved it. Kahoot is also great. However, our students aren't allowed to use their cellphones in elementary schools. We used laptops instead.

Charles Hayes
CHARLES HAYES
820 Activity Points

I have used Kahoot! as well, and my students absolutely love it! Not only are they engaged in the lesson, but they always ask when we are doing it again! We have an iPad cart at our school, which makes using this program possible. I am currently working on making my own activities in Kahoot!

Jennifer Wimberly
Jennifer Wimberly
255 Activity Points

Hi Raquel, I agree that Kahoot is a great resource for engaging students. Not only is it enjoyable but it also helps students review materials prior to exams. A great characteristic about kahoot is that students don't have to worry about feeling ashamed of getting any answers wrong because their names are not shown. And once the time is up, the teacher is given the chance to pause the game and discuss with the class why a certain answer was wrong or right. Lastly, Kahoot also is a neat way for teachers to assess whether or not their students are prepared enough for exams since the results are shown instantly.  

Theresa Garza
Theresa Garza
190 Activity Points

I think using a Kahoot is very engaging for students. I have seen it be fun for a variety of age groups, and it is definitely something I would use in the classroom. Its a fun way to review with students, and go over concepts that might have been difficult for some students. It is also a motivation to attentive because in order to be competitive they have to know the material to answer fast. It's also a fun way for students to have the chance to pull out their electronics during school. I can see myself using it throughout the year. 

 

 

Guadalupe Carreon
Guadalupe Carreon
720 Activity Points

Thank you for your suggestion.  I will try Kahoot with my class.  I hope that it helps with concepts that are difficult for the students to learn. 

 

Thank you, 

Cynthia

Cynthia Ruiz
Cynthia Ruiz
495 Activity Points

Hi Raquel, 

Thank you for the reminder about Kahoot! I haven't used it with my students before, but I have played it as a student! You're right, it's a great way for students to study and learn while giving them an opportunity to play! For anyone else who hasn't tried to incorporate Kahoot into their lessons yet, I would recommend it! Moreover, you can find tests that other users have made or make your own! The great part about customizing your own test is that you can phrase the questions and answers to fit the needs and goals of your students exactly. Lastly, I think Kahoot can easily be used as a pre- and post-assessment to see what students know coming into a lesson and the progress they've made, respectively. 

Andy Tran
Andy Tran
440 Activity Points

Hi Raquel,

Kahoot is a great resource for students! It's engaging, it's exciting for students, and it provides feedback for how the students are doing. After taking the Kahoot, students can look at their results and see what they answered correctlly and incorrectly. This is a good study tool that forces students to participate - but students enojoy participating! 

Gabriella Hundza
Gabriella Hundza
215 Activity Points

Kahoot is one of my favorite teaching resources to participate in and incorporate into lessons! I also think that Kahoot brings in the right amount of competitiveness for a fun game. The competitiveness also makes students want to see their results and know the right answer to the question.

Elizabeth Augustini
Elizabeth Augustini
170 Activity Points

As a former second grade teacher, I agree! My students loved using Kahoot. What I really like about the app is that it makes learning fun for the kids while reviewing a subject. When each question pops up, you can see the kids working quickly to try and get the answer right. It makes the students want to do better when they see they've gotten the quesiton wrong and another team has moved slightly ahead of them. Kahoot can be used by anyone ages 5-100+. I try yet to try it with my Kindergartners this year, but I think it'll be a hit. I like how it helps the students learn their shapes/colors as well since that is what you must click on to answer. It also teaches the students how to effively manage their time, since they are given a limited amount of time to answer the quetion.

Kelsie Haughey
Kelsie Haughey
1320 Activity Points

I completely agree! Kahoot is a great way of engaging students in the classroom and gets to introduce technology without being too intrusive. It is also a fun way to have them test their knowledge to wrap up a lesson or unit, but it could also serve for us as teachers as a preassessment method and check what our students know about a specific topic before instruction starts.

Lola Rubio Alberca
Lola Rubio Alberca
475 Activity Points

Kahoot is great! I have used these for review in my science classroom and my students love them.  We use chromebooks but I know you can use cell phones as well. Migth be more engaging for older students if they can use their phones. Overall, great resource!

Olivia Pfeifer
Olivia Bradds
540 Activity Points

Research has demonstrated that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills and promotes meaningful learning experiences. 5 Tips for Getting All Students Engaged in Learning:
Connect what you're teaching to real life.

One key way to involve students in their learning is to make sure the material speaks to them. ...
Use students' interests and fascinations. ...
Give students choices. ...
Hook their interest with fun transitions. ...
Teach students self-monitoring skills.

Denise Diaz
Denise Diaz
385 Activity Points

Hi Denise! I completely agree with all of these tips. I especially resonate with giving students choices and teaching them self-monitoring skills. As someone who is studying to be a high school teacher, I have found that many students, myself included, need to have interest or choice in how the content is being taught otherwise learning will not happen. Self-assessing and determining for myself exactly what level of challenge I need or what topic I wish to explore really helps open up my mind and promotes critical thinking.

Harley Kitching
Harley Kitching
597 Activity Points

I think science is one of the easiest subjects to make the most engaging. students are engaged with any hands on activities and especially when it involves labs and experiments. kahoot.it is definitely a great learning platform where students can take mini quizzes and challenge each other. another great site i love to use is brainPOP. brainpop is this website that interesting videos for almost anything you need and are teaching. it provides the students with a short animated clip on the subject and provides various examples. brainpop is one of my all time favorites. 

Julieth Hernandez
julieth hernandez
320 Activity Points

Hey Raquel! 

I am sophomore at Saint Peter's University in Jersey City New Jersey and I can still remember the power of Kahoot in my classrooms in highschool. No matter what the reason for the kahoot, our entire class would be excited to participate. Not only was it healthy competation within the class but it gave us an extra incentive why to study for our upcoming exam, quiz, or midterm before coming to calss. I remember my anatomy and physiology teacher would put some of the questions that were on the khaoot on our actual exams. I am studying to be an Elementary School teacher and without a doubt, I know that I will incoorperate kahoot in my lessons. One of the best features of this program is that it has so many options. Not only does each question has to question/answer but a teacher can add a picture or even the link to a video. It's a great way to get everyone invloved and with this activity there is not hassel of you want your students to work in groups. No matter what grade one is teaching, khaoort is always a win. 

Justine DeLeon
Justine DeLeon
1345 Activity Points

Hello! I totally agree with you! Kahoot is a really fun game and it gives the students a reason as to why they should learn the information you are teaching.

Andrea Benavides
Andrea Benavides
180 Activity Points

I totally agree with you. I am currently a college student and I love using kahoot on my presentations, the college students get to be competitive with one another. I can only imagine how elemntary students will get. 

Alexandra Serrato
Alexandra Serrato
55 Activity Points

This is a great post! I to use Kahoot in my college classroom but agree it is also perfect for younger students as well. I have seen kahoot used in elementary classes when observing and the kids absolutely love it. I can not wait to use it in my future class as well!!

Anna Johnston
Anna Johnston
55 Activity Points

I would have to say Kahoot is a wonderful activity to engage students. Growing up I used Kahoot and still in college we have used it. Technology has become more important to the classroom so allowing them to use it to show what they know and don’t know benefits both the teacher and the students. After each question the teacher can ask questions and talk about why one of the answers is right. This is giving the students time to be able to relearn information if they are still struggling with that. I think Kahoot is a very engaging game to get students involved.

Hannah Brumley
Hannah Brumley
2235 Activity Points

I recently used a Kahoot in my practicum placement to help students review for a midterm, and they absolutely love every second. My supervisor uses it as a study tool frequently and to add an extra element of competitiveness he will give the overall winner a couple of extra credit points on the assessment. There is also a feature that allows you to put a video up while students are signing into the Kahoot. We typically use it as a hype video to build excitement.

Harley Kitching
Harley Kitching
597 Activity Points

I've also found Kahoot to be a great review tool for students before any quizzes or tests, which works well with their competitive nature! I also use Quizizz which shares similar features as Kahoot, however will place students in a leaderboard based on their accuracy to add to the competition. It seems that students LOVE to be first in their class!

Zach Millan
Zach Millan
599 Activity Points

I agree that kahoot is extremely fun. Personally when I was in high school I remember using this feature. This will actually get everyone engaged but still have fun. I remember looking forward to playing because we will end up with rewards. This is a great way to implement not only knowledge but also participation. I find that it is very efficient to get feedback on what students are struggling with or certain topics. This can also be used for exam reviews, class work, and other activities. If teachers divide students into groups then they are able to kind of compete amongst one another and make this experience all worth it. 

Ashley Resendiz
Ashley Resendiz
675 Activity Points

I agree I think Kahoot is a fun and engaging resource that we can use as educators to get our students involved. Another great tool I enjoy is Quizzizz, this is similar to Kahoot in that it is a question-based competition. https://quizizz.com/

Nicole Anthony
Nicole Anthony
692 Activity Points

Both are great resources. I use kahoots because the kids absolutly enjoy them during class. Then I use quizizz as studey guides for students to take at home. They quizzez allow students to check for their own understanding, and see what they need to improve on. 

Tyler Stark
Tyler Stark
465 Activity Points

Hello, I have used Kahoot many of times and I always enjoy it. I have been on both sides of participanting in the Kahoot and operating the kahoot. The background music is enjoyable and if you don't like it you can turn off the sound. You are able to pick how long to show the questions and it can be a multipule choise or a true flase question. If you don't want students to know who is scoring the highest you can have them all choose the same name and just see an overall understanding of the students. I have heard of another resourse to use called, Quizziz but I haven't personally used it. I like Kahoot because it's very simple and teacher/ student friendly. This resource can help get your students more engaged in science lessons and it create a move enjoyable activity. 

Samantha Hyde
Samantha Hyde
1850 Activity Points

I have used Kahoot as a student and as a teacher. Students tend to love it, as it is a fun way to review and teach material! One downside is not all schools provide computers for students, so not all teachers can depend on having technology to participate. If your school is one that provides computers or technology for students, there are many educational websites that help engage students! Kahoot is a great one!

Mason Gotto
Mason Gotto
2640 Activity Points

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