Have you ever wrapped up a lesson that went completely as planned, but left thinking, was it successful for my students? Did they actually learn? Were they engaged?
For senior teacher, Mr. Andrew Gielda, he began dealing with students who were just sitting back, listening to his lectures, and taking notes. Although paying attention, Mr. Gielda felt like his students were not very engaged and were becoming bored with the material and the classroom topics. To solve this problem, Gielda introduced ClassPoint to his lessons.
Andrew Gielda, known as Mr. G, or Mr. G.O.A.T. by his students, is a veteran teacher currently teaching History and Psychology at Bay City All Saints Central, his alma mater in Bay City, Michigan. It is a Middle and High School where he teaches students from grade 8 to grade 12. His current objectives as well as the objectives of his department are to increase student involvement and growth in knowledge of the subject matter.
Over the past two years, Mr. Gielda, like many has taught in-person and virtually. When his school switched to remote learning, the technical transition wasn’t too challenging, Andy explained, because his digital-native students were “already used to being on computers.” And with experience in teaching, administration, and corporate training, Gielda himself has always been acquainted with tech tools and is a proponent of technology in the classroom. “It is only proven to make life easier,” said Andrew.
Boredom & Unengaged students
Every teacher experiences adaptation as students & tools change year after year especially teaching throughout the social distant and in-person limitations of the pandemic. For Gielda, he needed to solve the feeling of boredom he was receiving from his students.
He needed to increase participation, increase student involvement, and make his lessons more exciting while also meeting his goal of improving retention and knowledge of the material. He needed an update in his classroom, but he did not know what exactly.
“I was looking for something to make my classroom interactive,” Mr. Gielda said in an interview. A “classroom where learning can be fun.” Unsatisfied with many of the countless tools, games, or applications available for teaching, Gielda didn’t want something “cookie cut for any class,” he stated. “I wanted something personal to fit my class exactly on the objectives and the material I taught.”
Keeping up to date on teaching trends or tools, Mr. G stumbled upon ClassPoint on YouTube. As a PowerPoint user, it was a perfect solution. “I was able to quickly put together presentations using ClassPoint,” Gielda stated, and he could even use the material he already created. Mr. Gielda smoothly adapted to ClassPoint’s interface and began transforming his presentations into interactive lessons. He began using ClassPoint in 3 main ways: for gamified reviews, for understanding check points, and for participation grade.
First, Gielda began using Competition Mode to gamify his review lessons and bring competitive fun to his classroom. Right away, the leaderboard was a hit in his classroom. His students sat at the edge of their seats engaged, raced to answer his questions, cheered when they got it right, and moaned if they fell off the leaderboard. “They are excited. The competition comes out in the classroom, and you must be ready for that excitement in your room,” exclaimed Mr. G.
“It’s going to get very competitive” a 9th grade student warned during a U.S. History review lesson.
Gielda also uses ClassPoint activities as understanding “check points” which “allows for quick review of material and keeps students engaged,” Andy stated, “On a regular presentation day, covering facts, discussing material that we have read. It gives me automatic feedback.”
And lastly, Mr. Gielda takes that feedback and uses the results as a participation grade. He shared the ease of taking the results from the leaderboard to excel and right into his grade book. It helps his “students think: Yes, we’re doing it for fun, but if I score well in this fun activity, it also helps my grade, and I think that’s important,” explained Gielda.
ClassPoint idea: Gielda creates a 20 question PowerPoint quiz for a review session using class & exam material. All 20 questions are MCQ, Competition Mode. His favorite feature: variety of question types he uses as check points throughout a lesson. Add a Q every few slides for active participation and understanding checks + feedback.
By using ClassPoint, Mr. Gielda was able to see an increase in student engagement, student-centered involvement in his lessons, and a correlation between higher test scores and topics used during ClassPoint activities.
We asked Mr. G’s students to rate their engagement with and without using ClassPoint, and on average, his students experienced a 32% increase in engagement with ClassPoint. 87% of his students said they have fun when Mr. G.O.A.T. uses ClassPoint. He says, “the students are asking for it” They ask, “is it a ClassPoint day?!” when they walk in the door. And at the end of a lesson, his students ask if he can restart the PowerPoint, so they can answer the questions again. Gielda explained that they are learning, and they are having fun doing it, and they “don’t even realize it.”
“It’s an exciting day. I can’t wait to use it because I’m excited that they’re going to be excited.”
By using ClassPoint, Mr. Gielda was able to help his lessons become more student-centered and help the “students feel like they are a part of the learning and instruction.” “Each question can become its own talking point, an opportunity to review, answer questions, and get the students involved in the material,” Gielda stated. It not only involves his students, but it also provides instant feedback during his lessons.
“I use it as a gauge on what I have to reteach to make sure I have covered all my goals and objectives for the lesson.”
ClassPoint also helps Mr. G involve all his students. From the eager students to be at the top of the leaderboard to the students that struggle academically to his special needs students, Gielda stated how ClassPoint involves everyone from his class. “Some of those students that struggle, we know don’t go home and review, and they don’t self-check during a presentation, and with ClassPoint I’m doing it with them.”
Subject knowledge testing
For Mr. Gielda, ClassPoint is not just fun, it is also helping his students learn, stating that ClassPoint has helped with growth & retention in the subject matter. And he is not alone in that opinion; 87% of his students also believe that ClassPoint has helped improve their test results. Gielda said, “My students are scoring better on test material, so that objective is definitely being met.”
After using ClassPoint for a successful two years, Mr. G. looks forward to and plans to continue using ClassPoint in his classroom. “I’ve been using ClassPoint for two years, [and early on] I wanted it to go so well, and it does go so well, and that’s the exciting part,” explained Gielda.
And finally, alongside his goal to update his lessons to excite his students, Andy found he, himself, was excited, reinspired, and in love with teaching. “That excitement about teaching again flows into my classroom. The kids see me excited, and they’re excited.”
“It’s made me a creator. It’s made me be creative, it’s made me update my lesson, it has pushed me.”
“It’s forced me to look at my teaching style and really incorporate gamification.”
“ClassPoint has really made me a better teacher.”Mr. Andrew Gielda