Plickers consists of a paper barcode that students use to choose an answer to a question I have created. Students turn the barcode, labeled with letters of the alphabet, to choose the correct answer to a true and false or multiple choice question. I then scan the barcodes with my phone and instant feedback is given to check for understanding. I use Plickers to assess on a skill previously taught or to check for prior-knowledge before introducing a new topic.
I believe teachers of younger students may overlook or shy away from this tool due to the fact that younger students do not always have the reading skills needed to read and comprehend the questions, but I embrace this challenge and look at it as an opportunity to strengthen listening skills and practice following verbal directions. Time may also be another factor, but I have set up a routine with my students and have taught them how to prepare for the assessment. I literally say, “Plicker Time!” and within minutes the students begin the process. My thoughts are… if a Kindergarten classroom of twenty plus students can use technology and a tool like this, any classroom teacher can implement Plickers or a similar tool to enhance learning, engage students, and ensure a successful future for all. My students love using Plickers, so I am sure that yours will too!
by Suzie Stambek
Gobles Elementary Kindergarten Teacher