School is boring – there is no other way to say it. Absorbing complex mathematical functions while staring at a powerpoint presentation is the least exciting way to spend 7 hours of your day. This may explain why 16% of US students are chronically absent from class. To counteract absenteeism, teachers should focus on improving student engagement, as highly engaged schools have fewer chronically absent students and higher test scores. Therefore creating an engaging classroom environment is a great way to improve your students’ learning experience.
We’ve gathered a variety of unique ways to use Poll Everywhere in your in-person or hybrid classroom to improve student engagement and create an exciting learning environment that students will want to be in, no matter what your classroom setting looks like.
Play an improv game
Break out of the typical classroom mold and energize your students with a fun and interactive improvisation game. Have your students rewrite the ending of a book or historical event by choosing scenarios and acting them out in front of the class.
- Select four to five volunteers to play as the improv ‘actors’
- Moderate the questions via Poll Everywhere
- The audience controls the direction of the story by answering the questions
Poll questions can be multiple choice with options like:
What setting should the actors be in?
- High school bathroom
- Self-checkout line at Target
- Grandma’s kitchen
Or open-ended poll types like:
- What is the guiding sentiment of this scene?
- What is Character A’s hidden talent?
- What is the relationship between Character B and Character C?
Continue the game with a variety of questions and switching participants so everyone gets to participate. An improv game is a fun way to develop your students’ presentation skills, ability to think quickly, and review class material.
Host a game show
Poll Everywhere’s Competitions – the exciting poll type that allows presenters to ask a series of questions and lets participants compete to answer the fastest. Instead of asking a simple multiple-choice question, why not gamify the experience by turning it into a game show?
- Choose one person to be the host; Jeopardy wouldn’t be the same without Alex Trebek
- Select three individual participants to play the game
- The audience plays as the 4th participant
Don’t worry about downloading Jeopardy PowerPoint templates, integrate your Poll Everywhere Competition into any presentation. Test the participants by asking class trivia questions such as:
- History: What year was the Declaration of Independence signed?
- Math: What is a triangle with one 90 degree angle called?
- Science: What are the two elements that make up water?
Incentivize your students with prizes like extra credit for the winner of the game show. Using Competitions will make any lesson exciting and encourage active engagement from your class.
Choose-your-own-adventure lesson plan
Let your students be in charge and choose the lessons and activities for the day. Set aside a few topics you’d like the students to review and have them pick which they want to learn about with a ranking activity type. Students can reorder the choices in the order that they prefer, with the top choice moving to the top and last choice moving to the bottom. For example:
Today’s focus is chapter 4, the US in the 1960’s. Which topics should we review first?
- Civil rights movement
- JFK assassination
- Watergate scandal
- Counterculture and social revolution
- The Vietnam war
- 1960 presidential election
- Anti-war movement
- The space race
Prioritize the top choices to make time for other activities. Your students will feel empowered by the freedom to choose and you maximize class time by reviewing most relevant topics to the students. With more power over the lesson plan, students will engage more with the material.
On top of choosing topics, allow your students to pick which activities they’d like to do for that day. Use a word cloud to create an exciting visualization of your students’ favorite activities. Examples include:
- Quiet music hour – silent studying while playing a class Spotify playlist
- Small group discussions
- Fun trivia game
- Arts and crafts time
Question of the day
Start your day strong with a fun question of the day – an easy way to get your students up and ready for the lesson. Use an icebreaker to help you get to know your students and spark interesting conversations about their favorite things. This is also a great way to engage introverted students who may be less forth-coming about sharing. Use a word cloud to create a fun visual of your student’s responses or use a Q&A activity to allow students to upvote other responses. Here are a few questions you can ask:
- What is your favorite breakfast food? 🥞
- What book have you learned the most from? 📖Unique ways to use Poll Everywhere in your in-person or hybrid classroom
- Desired superpower? 🦸
- What is a skill you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t yet?
Change how you take attendance with clickable images. Create your own fun visual graphics with tools like Canva to ask attendance questions. Use a map to see where your remote students are checking in from, or use the image above to see how many students are joining in-person, remotely, or watching later asynchronously for a truly HyFlex learning experience. For students watching asynchronously, you can send a response link of your question after each lesson to allow them to share their responses.
Don’t lose your students’ attention due to boredom. Improve their learning experience and increase student engagement by gamifying your lesson plans with Poll Everywhere. Interested in more ways you can engage your students? Check out our latest blog post about 10 ways you can gamify your classroom.