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Plickers in primary

In this video, we see how a questioning tool where only the teacher needs a device can be used to support effective review of learning.
‘I’ve got five questions that we’re going to look at this morning, okay? All based on unit one test that you did last week and what I’ve done is…’ We’ve just done an end on unit science test and looking at all the results, obviously we had a lot of gaps that were missing so I used Plickers as a way of homing in on the top five questions that I felt most of the children struggled with, or dropped their marks on. Purely as a tool to engage them again so we could talk over the question. ‘So, name a way that an asexual plant reproduces.
Is it A where the seeds are blown in the wind, B does the plant split in half, C are the seeds carried on the fur of a dog, or is it D the plant produces plantlets.’ We had an inset last summer in school and we did it as a staff and it was really, really good. ‘This is amazing’. We’re trying to encourage now, staff to use it within their lessons. It’s one of those things we were using Kahoot, so a lot of people are still using Kahoot and again it’s about mindset and let’s try something different. So we are now integrating it through our foundation one subjects really; history and science.
It’s just trial and error so I’ve been piloting it in my lessons and and up to now it’s going really well. ‘Excellent, well done.’ We liked the instant response of it. Obviously when the children are putting their answers in, it’s all anonymous and no child has to think, ‘oh, my answers are up on the screen’ so it took off pressure from them. As a class teacher, it gave me formative assessment; I could see straightaway who was getting it just by looking on the iPad.
After the lesson, I get all the results through and it shows me straightaway where I’ve got gaps in my learning in my class and it just seemed an ideal tool for a quick fix in my, you know, a lesson for formative assessment. It brought up different issues as well. For example, I had a boy recently who was constantly low but it was how he was using this Plicker card as opposed to his subject knowledge and once we sorted that out he was flying again. But as a classroom teacher, I could see where gaps for my teaching were. I thought right, okay, I obviously need to recap that or explain something in a better way. ‘Right, let’s have a look.
So let’s see where we’ve gone. Right, very split this time.’ Initially, you set up your class and you have to enter the class names in. Once that bit’s set up, that’s done, you don’t have to do it again. Before producing the actual presentation, it’s just a simple sort of a slideshow. You put in your question, the four answers, click which one’s correct; you can put five questions in and it’s as simple as that. Your iPad needs to have an app on which will allow you to scan your class and it’s as simple as that, you just press play and go. QR codes, once you’ve set up your class lists, are produced for you.
We chose to print them off and laminate them. We are going to try and put them on an iPad though so they can physically just change their iPad; that’s probably the next step for us to see whether we don’t need the laminated cards and then it was down to training the children; not to touch the QR code, keep it [their fingers] on the white and make sure you’ve got the right way, make sure you’ve got the right card, ‘Remember to keep your fingers off the black QR code. Excellent.’ If it’s the start of a unit, I’ll use them to gauge what knowledge they’ve got already coming up from the a before.
I use it as a talking tool as well so if there’s a particular area I thought they haven’t done particularly well on or didn’t understand, I do a quick gauge of them and then allow them, ‘right, okay, let’s talk about this. You remember when we did such and such, talk to you partner’ and it’s usually like, ‘oh yeah, I can remember now,’ so it can be used in lots of different ways. I like the immediate list of everything. You know, right they’re not getting this. I could easily, while they’re working, do a quick Plickers test to gauge things. If they don’t get it then I can say, right we’re going to have a look at this quick clip.
It’s just now, I don’t have to plan things as much so that I can be more reacting to my lesson and what’s going on and for me that’s massive.

In this video, we see how Neil Jones, Assistant Headteacher at Prescot Primary School (primary) makes use of a questioning tool where only the teacher needs a device to support effective review of learning.

Neil shares how he finds the tool an effective approach for questioning his pupils; helping them to recall their learning, and helping him to collect responses form his whole class. We see Neil use it in class to review previous learning for science.

The tool used by Neil is:

  • Plickers – a questioning tool where only the teacher needs a device
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