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Here to stay! My favourite teaching apps and websites: Blooket

Part three of Here to Stay says hello 😄 In this series of blog posts I'm writing about the apps and websites which have become my everyday life since March 2020. In the previous posts I covered Flipgrid (you can read about it here) and Glogster (you can read about it here). Today, I'll tell you about Blooket!

Blooket is a great website for creating and playing games with your students. And if there is one thing that I love creating and assigning to my students, it's games ... as you can see here, and here, and here, and here, and here 😅 But with online teaching I needed something virtual and Blooket turned out to be my kids' absolute favourite when it comes to language game platforms.

Most of Blooket's features are completely free. So here's how it works: once you register and create an account, you can either browse the "Discover" section which is full of games created by other people, or you can create your own games. All the games you play on Blooket follow the 'question + A/B/C/D answer' pattern. I use it mostly for vocabulary learning but I also created some grammar sets for my kids, things like 'which verb form should we put in this sentence'.

When making a set, you may choose if you want to make it public or private. Your private sets will not appear in the "Discover" section. There are then two ways in which you can add questions to your set.

Adding your questions manually is pretty straight forward. Just have a look at the picture below

You just keep adding questions using this template. I, however, definitely prefer the second option of importing your Quizlet sets! 😃 First of all, creating vocabulary sets in Quizlet is very quick and easy. Second of all, I have a lot sets in Quizlet already so creating a Blooket set in this way takes me a minute. Once you click 'Quizlet import' Blooket shows you exactly how to import a set from Quizlet. It also gives you an option to swap your questions and answers. For example, in your Quizlet set you've got words in L2 and as their definitions translations in your kids' L1. When importing a set you choose whether you want the questions to be the L1 or the L2 words. You can also do both! So sometimes your kids will have to choose an English word as the answer and sometimes the word's meaning in their L1.

Ok, now you've got your vocabulary set in your Dashboard. This is what it looks like:

As you can see, you can edit your set, bin it, or change the settings. You also choose whether you want to host a game, meaning play it with your students, or play the solo mode. The solo mode is great if your students would like to create their own Blooket accounts and create their own games 😊 In a moment, I'll tell you why they might want to do that 😉 but for now let me show you all the options and game modes you can choose from when you host a game for your students.

Let's start from the two options that you have: you can host a live game or set it as homework. Some game modes are only playable as live games and some are only playable as homework modes, but there are also modes which can be both.

If you choose to give your students homework, you can set how much time they have to complete the assignment and what is the goal you want them to achieve while playing the game (points). You then get a link which you give to your students. Once they're done playing you'll be able to see who played your game and how many questions they got right or wrong.

When you chose to host a live game for your students, what happens is that you get a game code which your students have to use while logging into the game from their devices. They do not need to create an account. They go to the Blooket website, chose "join a game", type in their name and the game code which you gave them and they're good to go.

And now for the most exciting part: the game modes!! 😀

As you can see there are many game modes to choose from. Each game is completely different as well! You can see which games are homework only and also what skills they require. Most games can be played by up to 60 players at the same time! There is, however, one thing all of the modes have in common - to progress in any way and gain more points you have to keep answering language questions! 😃 Café and Tower Defence are my students' favourites to play in class. Tower of Doom is definitely their favourite homework. Crazy Kingdom has the additional perk of being a reading comprehension activity, because to do anything and make any decisions in the game you have to read short messages all the time. Honestly, each mode is fun and entertaining in its own way, and all of them help your students remember vocab really quickly.

I said before that your students might choose to create their own accounts and play games on their own. That's because Blooket is also about collecting Blooks! Blooks are small square tiles with animals and other creatures on them. The more points you get while playing games in the long run, the more Blooks you get to unlock and add to your collection. I don't know about your students, but mine are definitely into collecting pretty much anything you can collect 😄

To sum up, Blooket is a great website to add entertainment to your lessons while sneakily getting your students to practise vocab and/or grammar. It can be also used by your students on their own, so it's a great teaching aid which could be used during free work period at a Montessori school. Students can create their own sets of vocabulary (oh hello, autonomous learning and material creation 😀), or even use it with other subjects to create revision materials for themselves and their friends. All in all, I love it! It's great! Try it!! 🤩

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