What is the absolute worst chore in a household? Laundry. No doubt in my mind. Whenever I finally get to the bottom of my hamper and I am able to give myself a pat on the back, my husband comes home and throws a pair of khakis and a polo into the perfectly empty hamper. Oh. No. My household triumph of the week has been squashed. I can NEVER keep up.
The laundry of teaching? Grading. As soon as I have caught up on my “laundry list” of things to grade, my students learn a new skill and I am back to face the fact that I need to assess them so I can create small groups for instruction. For years, my husband has lamented my english tea rose Vera Bradley tote because he knows what this vessel holds; papers to grade.
“Why don’t get you those things we used in high school; You know, students fill in the blanks and teachers put them in a machine to grade?” He didn’t get it. I needed individual data from those tests and my nine year olds weren’t ready to bubble in scantrons. Plus, my school lacks a scantron machine. His solution? He offered to buy me a machine….
Thankfully, the third grade team found the grading solution last year, and this year I decided to completely take the plunge. I went digital with my testing. This year my students take all tests on iPads. For the first time ever, my entire district will be taking state testing online, so it is an added plus that my students will be comfortable testing on their iPads. We now use Socrative. I am going to break down the top five reasons why Socrative has made my life as a teacher much easier!
#1: Immediate Feedback
I can see how my students are answering in real time. Is little Jimmy going to fast? Did Sarah skip 5 questions? I can watch what they are doing and how they are doing from a teacher dashboard.
#2: Socrative automatically scores tests
The teacher creates the questions on Socrative and chooses the correct answer. Socrative automatically scores tests and will print individual reports that the teacher can send home. You can create multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions. I also include essay questions. These are not automatically scored; but if all I have to check on a test are my essay questions, I check an average of 30 less questions per assessment. A teacher can choose a print option to print multiple pages on one single document, so copy numbers from your class are lowered (score! Get on your principal’s good list!).
#3 Automatic creation of small groups
If my students are doing well with a skill with my aide and I want to see what they can do completely on their own, I send a three question Socrative quiz. Students can be put into small groups based on their understanding of a skill quickly. Want a quit “exit slip” without collecting those slips from students? A teacher can create a quick Socrative question and send it to kids.
#4 Goodbye make-up work
Have a student that has a super trustworthy family and she happened to get the stomach bug on test day? You can send her parent the Socrative test code and your student can still take tests with your class from the comfort of her couch! How much time does that save for a teacher and the student!?!?! I have had many students take tests from home when they are sick or on their way to Disney World. Socrative can be accessed via an app or over the internet, so kids can literally take a test ANYWHERE!
#5 Archived Data
Do you hate file cabinets full of student tests? My coworkers make students’ parents sign their tests and send them back so they have the original copy of all tests. With Socrative, I can save all student tests to my computer. This way, if I ever need evidence of how a student has been doing throughout the school year, I don’t have to go to a file cabinet. I can click on a few digital folders and then all of my students test records are quickly on hand.
Socrative saves time for teachers.
It saves money for schools.
It give time back to the teacher to focus on a more important thing than grading; teaching.