Case Study: How to Motivate Students

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Game Show Presenter Motivates Students to Learn

By Tom Kane

classroom game show helps students learnI have been using Game Show Plus for about 8 months in my job as a school teacher in a rural school system in eastern North Carolina. I teach general music to all students in an elementary school that has students ranging in age from 4 to 12, grades pre-K through 5th.

Our school recently went through a consolidation where 4th and 5th grade classes were brought back after having been housed in a middle school facility for a number of years. Many of these students had already been tainted by bad behavior patterns, so I've had my hands full dealing with a lot of new students with built-in attitudes. I've found the Game Show Plus program extremely useful for dealing with these difficult 4th and 5th grade classes. Note that I only see each class once each week.

Once every 4 or 5 weeks I run a team-based quiz show during the class period for these grades. I use it to assess their knowledge of material that I've thrown at them over the previous period of time.

When I do a team-based quiz, I use a set of homemade buzzers. I have the students sit on the floor in teams lined up behind the team member holding the buzzer. As soon as a question is answered, I have all the teams rotate the person who was at the buzzer to the back of the line so everyone gets a chance to answer questions. The process goes relatively quickly and the students catch on and buy in with 100% participation.

"The Game Show Plus is a great teacher tool and I recommend it to anyone who needs something extra to motivate students to learn."

I also use Game Show Plus in a non-buzzer fashion during almost every 4th and 5th grade class period. I simply run the game show on a single-player basis and select students to answer a few quick questions about the material just covered during the class. I'm usually amazed at their retention since it seems like most students are wandering around in a fog while I'm talking to them.

I've found the quiz creation tools to be easy to work with and often crank out a quiz practically at the drop of a hat.

I've been working on a shoestring in my teaching and have had to supply most of my own materials in my classroom. I created the buzzers from recycled computer keyboards: I modified them to allow only one specific function key to work for the buzz-in. I found it fairly easy to open most of them and place tape or something between the contacts on the membrane. I think I messed up one keyboard, but used keyboards are laying around all over the place -- seeing as a keyboard doesn't break just because the computer it came with died or became obsolete. I connect them to the computer through a USB hub. I also put a fairly inexpensive video card with an output to the TV into my computer, which works great seeing as the large fonts used in the Game Show Plus question screens are large enough that there isn't a resolution problem.

In summary, the Game Show Plus is a great teacher tool and I recommend it to anyone who needs something extra to motivate students to learn.

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