The main challenges I faced with when I started teaching were problem children misbehaving and meeting different learners needs (no change there). Now there are so many more things to juggle; mainly planning, marking and assessment. I ended up spending most of my time marking tests (spellings, times tables, mental maths, pre and post unit/topic assessments) and identifying gaps in learning to address them. Come in Socrative.
Socrative is one of my favourite apps. It is in what I call my ‘core apps’ as I cannot do without it. What I love about it is the simplicity to create and use within the classroom. Create a test in minutes, students login, push the test out and sit back and reap the benefits. The beauty is it marks the test for you (more time to plan and come up with amazing things to do!). But what I love so much is the extensive reports it creates.
Socrative creates spreadsheets based upon individual children, whole class results or specific questions. This makes it so easy to see how students respond to different types of questions and immediatley lets you see if anything needs to be addressed without having to trawl through books and marking. My favourite report is the whole class report, which shows the results colour coded for every question (green correct, red incorrect). It makes it easy, at a glance, to see which questions/spellings/calculations are weaknesses and allows you to focus on key areas. You can easily access scores , see the amout of correct answers and even the results as they appear in real time (great for allowing you to get around and support children if needed if its not a test style situation, but practice questions). You can see below the question my year 3 clss struggled with most at he beginnign of the year, so it was easy to address this straight after the test, and then in the next lesson.
The ammount of time it has saved me is phenomenal, freeing up more time to actually adress weaknesses, plan next steps and spend more time creating exciting, engaging, creative lessons. I have also started to use socrative as a means of collecting evidence and ideas. A great idea gathered from ICT Mr P’s (chexk out his blog, it’s the whole reason I started using iPads in the class, truly inspirational) great book ’50 iPad lessons for Exciting Sentences’ is to give children an image to which they write an open response based on the exciting sentence they have been given. Polls are also very easy to carry out. Give a question, students vote on the answer. Gather information straight away on tthe subject!
Give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed.