Demo Slam - Socrative can save your sanity (and encourage students to revise their writing)

If this is true (and it is), then teachers will go crazy with the amount of writing students can produce & publish in this new technology age! That is, of course, unless teachers know the tricks and trades of educational technology.

A typical California classroom can have anywhere from 28 to 35 students. Multiple that number by 6 periods for middle school and secondary teachers, and you have an insane number of papers to read and to provide feedback for! 

When students know that you are dumping their writing in the trash (sometimes literally), students will stop placing their best foot forward. Their writing ability and enthusiam then diminishes. 

This is where the trick and trade comes in - teachers can employ Socrative and ask their students to complete a Quick - Short Answer question that will be voted on by their peers.

Case in point. My 8th Grade English Department is required to give a Common Formative Assessment (CFA) with four short constructed questions. I gave the CFA on Thursday. I will be at the GAFE Summit this weekend. When will I have time to read all of my English student's writing and provide much needed feedback?

The answer? Friday during class.

  1. Students open their Thursday Assignment in Google Classroom.
  2. In the same window, students open their CFA answers and the Socrative link.
  3. Students click on the Socrative link tab and drag down. This creates a new window.
  4. Students select ALT ] and press them at the same time. This makes that window a half screen & pushes it the right.
  5. Students open their Google Docs answers and select ALT [ to make the screen half its size & push it to the left.
  6. With both windows open, students can prepare to submit 1 short constructed response answer at a time for peer review.
  7. Teacher uses a Chrome Timer to force students to copy/paste their one answer over in a timely manner. (Trust me, this is important for your sanity).
  8. Once the timer goes off, the teacher submits student answers for review. All names are replaced with a letter.
  9. Students read all submitted responses, argue with their group members, and select student answers that they think are correct. 
  10. As student submit their answers, votes begin to appear.
  11. Once allow votes have been submitted, the teacher discusses which letters (still anonymous) had the most votes and which ones did not.
  12. The teacher can then download the spreadsheet into Google Drive, pdf or Excel. This spreadsheet includes student names.
How do I know this works? Because I have used Socrative with my English classes. While it has not always ran smoothly, Socrative has added a needed layer of peer review to our class. Students were excited when their anyonomous writing was read by their peers. Some yelled out, "I'm L. Vote for me!" but most were simply anxious to see if anyone liked their writing.

This is is where I have to stop right now. It is 5:11 5:23 am on Friday, and I haven't taught this particular lesson yet. I will take images and videos of the process throughout the day as students submit each of their short constructed responses for voting.


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