Ed Tech

Teach with Kahoot!: Go beyond review with the Blind Kahoot

teach with kahoot

Many teachers use Kahoot! to review, but it doesn’t have to be limited to that. Use Kahoot! to teach new material with the Blind Kahoot. (Kahoot! logo property of Kahoot!)

Teachers all over the world use Kahoot! for formative assessment and to review content with students.

And why wouldn’t they? Kahoot! (getkahoot.com) is a fun gameshow-style assessment activity. There are tons of creative ways to review and assess with it. Kahoot! lets students answer questions with their own device. It has music and a leaderboard, and it doesn’t even feel like learning!

(Don’t tell anyone, but adults like playing Kahoot! games, too. I’ve seen it firsthand.)

If your students are anything like the kids and adults I’ve played Kahoot! with, they probably beg to play Kahoot! games. And once you’re done, they probably beg to play them again.

If this sounds familiar, ask yourself this question:

If Kahoot! is so powerful, why save it just for reviewing?

Why not teach with it?

You can do this with the Blind Kahoot, an idea created by science teacher Stephanie Castle in New York (@castlestephanie). It’s a way of leading students down a path of curiosity, understanding and reinforcement to learn a new concept:

  • Stump students with a tricky question about a brand new topic they’ve never studied. (I know … sounds crazy, right?)
  • Help them understand what they’ve just seen and help them make sense of it.
  • Give them opportunities to apply what they’ve just learned right away.
  • Reinforce what they just did until they’ve got it.
  • Repeat that process as many times as necessary.

Ever take a quiz online or through social media before learning the information in covers? It’s kind of like that — assessment to learn instead of assessment of what has been learned.

Here is how a Blind Kahoot works step by step. (I learned about these steps from this amazing Blind Kahoot template available on the Kahoot! website.)

1. Start with an introductory question. This is a simple question that prepares learners for what they’re about to learn. It sets the scene, tells them what we’re learning today. An example: a standard multiple choice question that asks, “What is mitosis?”

2. Surprise with a blind question. A blind question asks about something students haven’t learned yet. Don’t expect them to get it right. This tricky question hooks students into the lesson … you’ve piqued their curiosity!

3. Explain and discuss the answer to the blind question. This is where students are equipped to understand the ideas behind the blind question. Give them tips and tricks they can use. Display instructional images or video clips in a kahoot question. Explain a rule of thumb to help them. The possible answers they can choose from could be “OK got it!” or “Could you explain again?” With this question, you’re not really looking for a right answer … the answer results are more a self-reported gauge of understanding from students.

4. Provide reinforcement questions. Let students apply what they’ve learned right away. Ask more questions (escalating in difficulty or with less time to solve) to help them apply new knowledge. Explain new concepts again, maybe in different terms. Let a student who gets it can explain it in his/her own words.

5. Repeat the blind question from before. Now, students won’t be stumped by it and will be equipped to answer it. Whether they get it will inform whether it’s time to move on.

6. Repeat steps 2-5 as many times as necessary. A Blind Kahoot could feature one cycle through steps 2-5 for a particularly tricky topic. An easier one could mean you work through the cycle several times. The key is not to move too fast and to provide ample opportunity for students to apply what they’re learning.

7. End with compound reinforcement questions. These questions apply all the new concepts in the Kahoot. They explore subtleties and more complex questions.

In the end, for an additional and different challenge, students can try to beat their own best scores in Ghost Mode. Ghost Mode is an option in Kahoot! that lets students replay the same kahoot and compete against their previous effort. They’ll see their previous scores on the leaderboard as “ghosts”. This lets them see their progress.

Tips from the creator of the Blind Kahoot

Here are some suggestions from Stephanie Castle, the science teacher mentioned earlier who created Blind Kahooting:

  • It’s very common for an entire Blind Kahoot game to last 20-30 questions.
  • Let students know ahead of time that you’re doing a Blind Kahoot. (i.e. Don’t let them assume they should get all the answers correct and then smack them with a blind question they’re totally unprepared for.)
  • A good question to ask students who answered the blind question correctly: How did you apply what you previously knew to figure this question out?
  • Some students might feel left behind if they’re not keeping up with the explanations. In reinforcement questions, make one of the four possible answers “I’m lost” or “My head hurts.” When several students choose that, it’s a good indicator that you need to slow the pace down.

Stephanie has a GREAT YouTube channel with biology tutorial videos geared toward International Baccalaureate students.

More resources

Want some more information about Blind Kahoots? Kahoot! has some very deep resources, including:

[reminder]How do you use Kahoot! in your class? Do you have any Kahoot!-related tips and tricks to share?[/reminder]

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