Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hooked on Math: Summer Hacks


A weekend at an EdTeachTeam Summit in the middle of the school year often leaves my mind reeling, and Monday morning always comes a bit too quick. Finishing off Sunday afternoon with picking one new thing to roll out on Monday certainly helps to ease some of the anxiety due to the strong desire to completely makeover my classroom overnight! Your PLN will also help to hold you accountable as you can explore other #onenewthing posts the following evening.

This summer has certainly presented a wonderful opportunity to roll out more of these great ideas. Prior to the start of summer school, I was inundated with #GooglePDWeek, and the timing could not have been better for “Hacks for the Math Classroom.” I was finishing up prep for a six week math course designed for entering fourth graders, and I was excited to explore some of these new ideas, along with a few projects from the spring.


This past year, our class fell in love with Kahoot! and I was ready to use it as a fun formative assessment throughout the summer! As soon as Kyle Pearce presented on Knowledgehook, I knew immediately that I had to try it out! Knowledgehook provided similar features as a Kahoot! quiz--teachers created an assessment, students joined a Game Show via a class code, and teachers had access to the results immediately. Knowledgehook, however offered a handful of different features that was too great to overlook!

1. Multiple Answer Options

While Kahoot! quizzes were limited to multiple choice questions, Knowledgehook offered other options such as “Free Form” questions, which required a student to enter a number or text response. Along with the traditional multiple choice option, Knowledgehook also offered the option to create multiple choice questions with multiple answers, challenging students to “mark all that applies.”

2. Time Bonus

A unique feature of Knowledgehook is the ability to disable the time bonus before beginning a Game Show. While efficiency is important, a timer often led to students either not completing their best effort, or not trying and opting to guess, figuring that they’d run out of time first. In the classroom, we often tell our students to slow down and take their time, but a time bonus seems to reinforce the opposite message.

3. Upload Solution

After answering a question, students have the option to upload a solution using a document from their device or by taking a photo. Teachers can view the images that are uploaded and students have the opportunity to share their thinking with their peers and see multiple solutions to the same problem. Building a classroom culture that promotes a safe learning environment is essential to establish first, but this is also a great way to have students share incorrect solutions to get feedback on how they can improve their process in the future.

4. Leaderboard

The leaderboard is also a feature that teachers have control of using Knowledgehook. Students, partners, or groups can compete against each other, but when toggled off, the leaderboard then turns into #ClassWins! The teacher can set a “celebration threshold” to determine what will qualify as a #ClassWin, which is celebrated with a silly GIF. This option seems to have had a positive impact within our classroom to support all levels of ability.


Students partnered up and played our first Knowledgehook Game Show on iPads, and were armed with notebooks as scratch paper. I did challenge the groups to upload a solution for every question, which required students to really think about the process they used to solve a problem, and why they chose that strategy. It was amazing to see the students collaborating to determine whether they were using an appropriate strategy and whether they were sure of their solution. With no time bonus, students were more than willing to go back and check their work! When groups had a student that did not understand the problem, their partner was able to work through it with them without fear of running out of time. The collaboration that took place was incredible! With just a few tweaks to the functions of the assessment, students still had a great time and seemed to benefit exponentially! While I’m sure Kahoot! will still have a place in my classroom this fall, Knowledgehook Game Shows will be an easy go-to option for some exciting math formative assessments!




Tyler Yamamoto
Third Grade Teacher
University Schools
Greeley, CO Twitter
@tyamo8





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