Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pictionary with Socrative

I meant to write this post earlier in the year (say - oh - August?), but that obviously didn't happen, so here we go...

This is my fifth year teaching geometry, and even though I love teaching the course, the basic naming and definitions portion at the front of it can often be boring. I mean, sometimes, it's really hard to spice up how to name a plane.

After we've discussed basic nomenclature, I always ask students to flip the process, meaning I give them a description, and they give me a drawing. This part is usually a little more fun. In the past, I've made index cards with the situation on the front and a possible solution on the back. One partner reads the text to the other partner, who does his/her best to draw the accompanying image on a whiteboard. I then run around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to look out for misconceptions and errors. Hey - it worked, but you never really knew when you had missed out on that one special moment... you know, the one where something was slightly incorrect, and you, the instructor, could have posed a question or a clarifying statement that could have really helped the kids build a solid understanding of the content.

This year, my students are 1:1 with Dell laptops. No. They are not touch screen. And yes - I'm bitter (but don't tell anyone). Think of what else my kids could do if they were touch capacitive. Anyway - that's not important right now. I'm off track. Here's what we did...

I used @sandramiller_tx 's graphics, since hers were digital and mine were hand-written. Go visit Sandra at Anyway, I took these images and put them in Socrative. I used a standard multiple choice quiz format - with only choices of A or B.  Choice A was to be selected when student answers matched the exemplar or when they didn't but partners were able to discuss and remedy the mistake. Choice B was to be chosen when the partners disagreed or did not understand the proposed solution. The way the activity worked - one student had the laptop and read the written explanation. This student was also looking at the proposed image solution. The second student in the pair had a whiteboard and was drawing as the first partner was giving the directions. When partner 2 was finished, they both compared the whiteboard to the computer solution and discussed then appropriately chose either option A or option B. On my teacher dashboard, A answers showed up as green (I marked them the correct answers), and B answers showed up red. Even from a distance, I could immediately see when a student was struggling and who to assist. It's almost the same idea as the Red/Yellow/Green cups, but less troublesome.

Here are some screenshots from the activity:

If you'd like to try this activity, the share code for this Socrative quiz is  SOC-17217490.


  1. Great activity, thank you for sharing!!!!

    1. Forgot to ask if you use goformative? I started using it this year with my students. Goformative has a feature where you can upload a doc or pdf and students can use the "white board" to write with their mouse. This might help with the touchless laptop.

  2. Yes. I've seen goformative and use it here and there. I am challenging myself to "re-invent" apps .... use them in ways they weren't necessarily created for. Thanks for the suggestion. Glad you found this helpful!