10 reasons why you should use quizzes with children
Why should you use quizzes with children? Well, when many of us were young, we loved the quizzes in our favourite weekly magazines. For example, those that would tot up whether you were a ‘mostly A’s/B’s/Cs’ type. Now we can quiz to our hearts’ content online – there is always one we haven’t tried
Even as adults we love a quiz. It’s like a mini mystery to solve while we grab a cup of tea at break time – how much am I like this? How much do I know about that? What will my score be?
So, how can we apply this enjoyment to quizzes with children in the classroom? What makes a quiz a good classroom tool? Here are 10 reasons that might get you thinking about using quizzes in your classroom:
Quizzes are fun
Simple as that – they are fun. We all know that if learning is fun, we learn better.
For teachers, a quiz can be a few minutes of relaxation from our hours of marking. So, if we enjoy it, why wouldn’t the kids we teach also welcome a little bit of relaxing fun whilst working?
Quizzes raise confidence
Well targeted, tailor-made quizzes can boost self esteem and confidence. When pupils can challenge themselves but are able to succeed, their confidence can grow.
An individual quiz takes off the pressure that a ‘test’ can bring and enables children to make mistakes privately. Even if used in teams or pairs, the nature of a funquiz can also help those children less confident to make mistakes, especially if the quiz allows them to try again.
Quizzes for children can aid planning and identify progress
Whether the quiz is a pre-topic assessment or at a midway point, it can really help you see what pupils already know or have learned.
In this way, a quiz will inform your next steps of planning on an individual basis. In fact, quizzes are also a great way to reinforce learning for pupils throughout a unit of work.
Quizzes can support individualised learning
Quizzes are easy to differentiate, whilst enabling all children to participate in the same task.
For example, you can apply the same design to the a quiz and learning materials, but with different questions. This is a subtle form of differentiation.
It can also help you provide just the right level of challenge and pinpoint how to support each pupil to reach their full potential.
Quizzes are great for plenaries
A quiz or poll at the end of a lesson is a good way to gain a quick overview of who needs help and where you could challenge pupils further.
Having a standard set of meta-cognitive and evaluative questions online that pupils can access via an iPad or computer in any lesson makes this time efficient in preparation for the teacher too.
Plus, children will get into the habit of reflecting on their learning independently.
Quizzes are great for end of topic assessments
A quiz at the end of a lesson or a unit of work is an entertaining way to find out how much pupils have learned. It can also inform any further follow up needed.
All this without the need for the stress that a more formal test can bring many children!
Quizzes are good for revision
Pre-test quizzes can help pupils revise without even realising they are doing it.
And a quiz is a good way for a pupil to identify and take ownership of their knowledge gaps. It’s also a great way to help them to plug the gaps to boost their confidence when it comes to formal testing.
Quizzes can help tracking
Keeping a record of pupils’ scores and responses provides evidence the fact that the teacher is regularly assessing and feeding back to students. This can also can help a teacher monitor and track progress.
Quizzes encourage pupils’ self awareness of progress and self assessment
By taking quizzes, pupils get instant feedback on their responses. And this can help them identify areas they need to develop themselves and highlight progress for them to be proud of.
In fact, it can also support a growth mindset and foster the attitude to life-long learning that you aim to give your pupils.
Quizzes can help teachers have rich feedback dialogue with pupils
If always used simply as a pass/fail or score out of x method, quizzes could just become another test format.
But, by evaluating the pupils’ answers, teachers can gain a deeper awareness of their understanding (or misunderstandings). And then provide richer feedback to pupils to challenge and extend their thinking.
So, before, during or after– quizzes can help at every stage of a unit of work in school. They can support differentiation and provide pre-teaching indicators, assessment for learning, rich feedback, self assessment and summative information about progress.
They are also a great way to help with revision. And are a fun tool to help enthuse children to engage in their learning.
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