KASSON, Minn. — From tablets to SMART Boards and even special clickers, technology is taking over our communities and even area classrooms.
It seems whenever you put some new technology into the hands of children they figure it out pretty quickly. That is exactly the case in Kasson where students are becoming more engaged and getting immediate feedback on their answers.
Pop quizzes are nothing new, but the way the students at Kasson-Mantorville Middle School are taking them is.
“It’s simple and easy,” said 5th Grade Student Carter Wyttenbach.
That is because they are taking them on clickers, personal response devices that let Wyttenbach and his classmates say their answer with the tap of a button.
“It’s fun because you don’t have to write as much and it’s all right there,” Wyttenbach said.
That simplicity applies to the teachers as well.
“During my prep hour I’ll whip up ten questions in 20 minutes and have it ready to go by the time they get to class,” said 5th Grade English and Social Studies teacher Chris Soderberg.
They have been putting the clickers to use since the beginning of the school year on a variety of topics.
“I’ll have the kids read some pages in a novel and I’ll just do a quick spot check to see how they’re understanding the material,” Soderberg said.
What Soderberg and his colleagues enjoy most is the immediacy of the results.
“If I see 30 percent of the kids get this question wrong then I can go over it right then and there and we can see what they were thinking. It’s just instant feedback for the kids,” Soderberg said.
They can see if one student is struggling more than others as well.
“Once you’re done with the test, you can open up the results and see how each child did on every single question,” said 5th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher Wendy Jaensch.
They say that is leading to better results in the grand scheme of things.
“When they take it at the end, they do much better on the final test, I think because they’ve seen it in the clicker quiz a number of times,” Jaensch said.
Plus it adds a little friendly competition for the kids.
“It feels good when you see you get 100 percent, or better than a B,” Wyttenbach said.
These teachers say it is a great way to shape their curriculum. If students are not understanding a topic correctly they can emphasize it more or if they all seem to be understanding it well they can move on to the next topic.
Soderberg said that it is also a great way to teach simple test taking strategy. He said that the multiple choice method should translate well into the standardized testing that the students will be doing in the near future.