Archive for the ‘Quiz Tips for Teachers’ category

6 Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Quizbean – Our Fun, Easy-to-Use, Create Your Own Quiz Tool

Quizzes have been a teaching tool since dinosaurs walked the earth… well maybe not that long, but ever since teachers have been educating their students. They have been used throughout our lives: in elementary school, high school, and all the way through students SAT prep courses. Quizzes and pop-quizzes always seem to be so annoying for students in the moment, but they should be viewed as a tremendous learning tool when used the right way.

Consistent and frequent quizzing on a specific subject has been shown to be effective in helping to store information in a person’s long term memory. This “Testing Effect” or quizzing effect, is one of the reasons why it makes sense to include frequent quizzes in one’s teaching curriculum. In addition to using quizzes to help students remember material in the long term, quizzes are a great way to assess a student’s knowledge on a subject before starting to teach about it. Quizzes have their place in the educational landscape and are here to stay. Now it is up to educators to understand and connect with students in a world where education and technology are joined at the hip.

Here are 6 Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Quizbean – Our Fun, Create Your Own Quiz Tool to Improve Teaching and Learning

6 Reasons Why Teachers Should Use Quizbean – Our Fun, Easy-to-Use, Create Your Own Quiz Tool

1. For Efficiency’s Sake

Quizbean has recently partnered with Clever, an awesome application for both teachers and students. This makes life a heck of a lot easier for teachers trying to incorporate educational technology apps into their classroom. Clever has created an application which saves teachers hundreds of hours of administrative set-up time; they created a tool which allows teachers to easily make a quiz (through Quizbean) and automatically send it to all their students with a few clicks. When students complete a quiz sent by their teachers, their results are automatically posted online for the teacher to see. Teachers not only see how students did individually, but they see they bigger picture.

2. Real Time Feedback

When students are taking a Quizbean quiz, Instascore is enabled; students see how they are doing as they take a quiz. Students see which questions they answer correctly, and when they answer incorrectly, teachers have the option to add explanations to inform them about the correct answer. This feature benefits students as they are able to understand what information they have absorbed from their teacher and are able to simultaneously learn when they answer a question incorrectly. Students no longer have to wait a few days for the teacher to go through all the quizzes and correct them by hand. More time for teachers, better feedback for the students; win-win. Instantaneous feedback, Voilà!

3. Results and Analytics for Teachers

Some of the most beneficial features of Quizbean are the reports and analytics generated by the application. After students in a class complete a quiz, reports can easily be generated which show the individual results of each student, and also the collective results of the entire class. It is easy for teachers to see the patterns of which questions students tended to answer correctly, and those which they often got wrong. Since the quizzes give instant feedback, teachers don’t have to spend extra time grading all the quizzes individually. Teachers also can analyze reports to help them draw conclusions about how the students are absorbing the material they are teaching.

4. Accessibility For All

With the world growing more virtual day after day, students have the ability to access technology and online educational resources wherever they are. It is now easier than ever to create a quiz on Quizbean, and send it to your students to do as homework on their own time. Snow day coming? Have the students watch a short video and send an easy quiz to go along with it. The students will still be able to enjoy their snowball fights and sledding, and can do their 10 minutes of work after their day of play. A quick video and quiz on the day off seems like a good alternative to making up that snow day in June!

5. Shareability of Quizzes

Quizbean has an expansive quiz bank with quizzes that span all types of subjects: language, history, math, sciences and much more. Teachers can build upon quizzes they find in the Quizbean quiz bank to create study tools for their students. These quizzes can easily be shared to a teacher’s entire class or shared to a select group of students in their class. Teachers also have the option to share the quiz to anyone else through email or social media. Bottom line, once you find or make a quiz you like, it is easy as pie to share it.

6. Question Randomizer On/Off Toggle

Teachers have the power to turn the question randomizer on and off. This means when one quiz is sent from a teacher to all their students, they can control if ordering of questions will be different for each quiz. This can be highly beneficial to giving online quizzes in the classroom in an effort to dissuade cheating. This can ease your worries about whether little Johnny will try and peak over to see what Mary answered for number 7. Using the randomizer feature adds some mystery to you and the student, and who doesn’t love integrating strategy with learning?

Happy Quizzing everyone! Feel free to reach out to the team if you have any questions or suggestions.

5 Tips to Get Lessons Plans Done Faster

Standing up in-front of a classroom of students with no plan is terrifying. You have no idea who is paying attention (well, you do – just make sure no one is falling asleep :p), you have no structure to the period, and your nervousness can shine through without thinking about it.

That’s where lessons plans come in.

Lessons plans help you run your classroom, inform substitute teachers, and even keep your students focused. But, there’s one problem: they take hours to complete and even if you complete them, they just end up being deviated from.

Fear not, young teacher. QuizBean is here to help. Here’s 5 tips we’ve found to get your lesson plans done faster – regardless of the grade you teach:

1. Start with your outcome

When you start something, it’s often easier to get to the end when you think about what you want  accomplish. Do you want your students to know the importance of Abe Lincoln? What about how to do their multiplication tables or what Avogadro’s number is? Then, work backwards to figure out what your students need to learn to meet your goal. Do they need to watch a movie? Do a couple math problems? Whatever it is, the working-backwards exercise should pay off in spades for your lesson planning.

2. Use multiple learning styles

Lesson plans don’t have to be limited to just visual learners – or just auditory learners. When you incorporate different learning styles, it help you create a more dynamic lesson. And better yet? It helps students learn quickly because they’re able to grasp the concept in a way that makes sense to them. In case you’re wondering, here’s a list of the seven learning styles for a refresher course.

3. Find inspiration online

Isn’t it great when other teachers want to give back? Of course it is! And one of the ways teachers are giving back is their lesson plans. There are tons of online lesson plan resources. From teacher forums to teachers within your school, you can find inspiration everywhere. There are lesson plan templates and ready-to-go lesson plans – take your pick!

4. Use Planboard – a neat little app

If you think teaching one class is tough, try teaching 5 or 6. It can get out of control fast – from student management to curriculum. Planboard (an incredibly cool app), helps teachers organize their classroom, create lesson plan templates, and even attach documents to each lesson so students to follow. Give it a shot.

5. Think outside the box

Use guest speakers, have students teach a lesson (by creating their own lesson plan), or co-teach a lesson with another teacher. For example, if your students are learning about Egypt, work with the art teacher to do a project that teaches students how to make hieroglyphics. Or, partner up with the gym teacher to learn more about staying active when you’re young. These co-teaching opportunities are powerful and work to keep students engaged. Try one with a colleague at your school and let us know what you come up with.

See? Lesson plans aren’t that challenging, right? What do you do to create amazing lessons plans in a short amount of time? Let us know in the comments below.

QuizBean is a powerful tool to incorporate into your lesson plans into. You’ll find out in just minutes if students understand your content. Make your first six quizzes absolutely free. Get started with QuizBean.

5 Useful Ways Your Students Can Use an Online Quiz Maker

Get your students involved!

You hear it from your peers, your teacher inservice, and nationally-known speakers: You have to get your students doing. No more sitting in the classroom, looking at the chalkboard like a lifeless mass.

Get their brains active.

It helps them learn, review, and retain information. And one of the best tools to do all three of those is an online quiz maker, like QuizBean. But, before I get all self-promotional, hear me out.

Students need to get into the habit of building and creating.

Creating something every day, whether it’s a drawing, blog post, photo, meal, or popsicle stick house, creativity stimulates the mind. And that’s why making a quiz online can get you the same effect. But, with quiz-making, you’re not just left with a product. You’ve got a study tool.

Here are 5 ways your students can use an online quiz maker:

1. Build a foreign language quiz

It’s hard enough to learn English when you’re young. So, what about a foreign language? That can be hard, too. Especially with the accents, the verb tenses, and more. With QuizBean, all the funny characters, math symbols, and accents show up in QuizBean. Now, you’re able to make a quiz in any language. Pretty cool, huh?

2. Quiz their friends who need extra help

Quiz making doesn’t just have to benefit one student – have it benefit the whole class. For final exams, divide up the textbook into chapters and assign a chapter quiz for each student. That way, they review the chapter-specific material for themselves and have ready-built materials from their peers for the other chapters. It’s like creating tons of flash cards with the help of your peers.

3. Make a fun quiz to share online

Quizzes don’t always have to be serious. In fact, some of the most popular quizzes on QuizBean are incredibly random. Students can make a funny quiz like “boogers or farts” or “Is this true about my childhood?” quizzes. And let them share with the class or even the world. Their experience with the internet is shaped by how they use, but let them have some fun every once in a while!

4. Build a quiz to learn those confusing science terms

Science was always a tough subject to me. Why? Because it seemed like so much of the vocabulary I was using simply wasn’t going to be used every day – so it was hard to remember. And I’m sure it’s still the same way with students today. That’s why QuizBean is a fantastic tool to help sort all the vocabulary out. From mitosis to meiosis, centrifuge to atomic weight, have your students create a quiz to straighten all the terms out.

5. Use the quiz to learn differences between two subjects

What’s the difference between World War I and World War II? What about the difference between past and present tense? What about verbs and adjectives? Quizzes are a great way to compare two things. Get a list of facts and start making a quiz – this or that or multiple choice. Then,

Students are almost always at their computers. Whether they’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or hey, even QuizBean, there is a screen in front of their face. So why not make them productive?

Online quiz builders are a great way to get students interacting with the content you’re teaching them in class and connecting it to the outside world. Have you let your students lose with QuizBean? What have they been creating?

5 Reasons to Create a Quiz Online

Pencil and paper are a thing of the past.

There are tablets, iphones, smart watches, voice-recognition, etc. These devices have changed the way we communicate. Heck, even some schools are removing cursive from their curriculum. (I secretly still like to write capital G’s in cursive).

Whether you like it or not, tech is here to stay.

And one of the applications that has become significantly better because of technology are online quizzes. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool to fill out the little bubbles on scantrons and the SAT’s when I was in high school.

But computers are way more awesome.

Let’s face it: you’re competing for attention every second of every day in the classroom. With phones vibrating, notes being passed, and even students storming out of class in revolt, it’s tough to get students engaged.

And that’s why online quizzes should be created online — they’re simply more engaging. And here’s five more reasons:

1. They are easy to throw together

With paper quizzes, you have to type up the questions, format the quiz, print it out, copy it, distribute it to your students, give instructions. Oh, and then you have to grade it. That’s a pain, isn’t it?

2. They can be automatically graded

Many online quiz applications have a feature that allows your quizzes to be automatically graded. This saves you a tone of time. No more hand-grading. And your students can know how they did after each question and at the end of the quiz. That’s a lot different than the week they’re used to waiting before you have time to hand them back. Automatic grading is a beautiful thing. You can thank the internet for that. 🙂

3. They can easily incorporate images

Visuals add so much to your quizzes. Whether you’re showing a picture of Rembrandt or adding a graph for your math quiz, it’s easy to add images to your online quiz. And visuals make your quiz more interesting. Plus they open you up to more question types, too.

4. They can be shared with other teachers

When you create a pencil and paper quiz, it’s your quiz. It’s hard to share. Unless, you want to copy your quiz for other teachers in your school. That’s old-school. The beauty of online quizzes is that they can be easily shared – via email, social media, or embedding your quiz in your blog. That way teachers can access your quiz for their own classroom – and you get credit. How cool is that?

5. They can be fun

Wait, what? Quizzes, fun? Yes – it’s true. If done right, online quizzes can be fun to take. Especially when there are animations, bright colors, and you get your score at the end rather than having to wait for you to grade it (yeah, see number 2). Once you’ve blasted through the boredom with fun online quizzes, you’re golden.

Online quizzes are quick, easy, and fun. They’re a heck of a lot more engaging for students and they don’t involve #2 pencils. What about you? Why do you make online quizzes?

Speaking of online quizzes, have you tried QuizBean? It’s freeeee.

What to look for in an online quiz maker

There are tons of ways to create a free quiz online. From complex learning management systems to free quiz makers for teachers, it’s tough to figure out what’s going to work best for your classroom.

Below, you’ll find a list of features we think you should have in every quiz maker you use. If you’ve got something to add to the list, let us know in the comments below.

Here goes!

1. Easy to use

This doesn’t really have to be said, but the quiz maker has to be easy to use. You don’t have a lot of time to fuss with software because there’s tons of other stuff you have to do. Quick and easy is the name of the game.

2. No email required for students

Children under 13 technically can’t use/have an email in a school setting. That means you want your quiz maker to be able to handle students who don’t have an email address. Some quiz makers accomplish this with codes and others make special usernames. Either way, make sure this is a feature of your quiz maker of choice.

3. Instant grading

Remember when your students had to wait a week to get quiz results back. Not anymore! Instant grading is perfect for students and teachers. For students, they get their score at the end of the quiz (and each question). For teachers, you get your student’s grades sent to your dashboard in just seconds saving you tons of time hand-grading with that pesky red pen.

4. Question explanations

Just letting your quiz-taker know they’re wrong isn’t going to cut it. Let them know more about the correct answer with images and text – and even a hyper-link to more information. This way, the correct answer gets reinforced even though they did get the question wrong.

5. Simple sharing

When you create a quiz, don’t you want other people to take it? That means your chosen quiz maker should make it easy to share your quiz — via email, social media, and more. And after your quiz is shared you want to know the stats, too. That leads to #6.

6. Stats!

Everyone loves stats. How many people have taken your quiz? What’s the average score? Are students tripping up on a certain question? With a robust stats and analytics package, your quiz maker should do a lot of the number crunching for you.

QuizBean is an online quiz maker for K-12 teachers to help them instantly assess their students. Plus, it’s quick and easy to use. Get started for free at

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.

8 Reasons You Should Have More Guest Speakers in Your Classroom

Guest speakers for your classroom

Having a guest speaker in your classroom is probably better than when the TV on wheels rolled into your classroom. They’re new, fresh, and hopefully engaging.

Many teachers bring in guest speakers to illustrate points in their lesson plans, and give students a break, but I believe guest speakers have the power to do so much more. Here are 8 reasons you should invite more guest speakers into your classroom:

1. It’s a break from your teaching

Hate to say it, but students are probably bored of your teaching methods and class. Break up the monotony with a guest speaker. They’ll speak at a different pace, use different teaching aids, and engage with students differently. Plus, it’s an opportunity for students to interact with unfamiliar people and get comfortable talking to other adults – always a plus for networking down the road!

2. Students have the opportunity to learn something new

This is my favorite reason on the list because I love to learn something new. When I had scientists come in to class, travelers, and even firefighters, I learned a ton – even if it had nothing to do with the class I was in. Learning new, interesting things is part of education, and guest speakers are often overlooked as one of the better sources.

3. It supports subjects you may not know a lot about

Have you ever gotten to a point in your semester’s curriculum where it might be better for someone else to teach the section? That’s a perfect scenario for guest speakers (or another teacher if that’s easier). Having another person teach a quick section of your class is a nice break for students – and it lends a different perspective, as I point out below.

4. Creates amazing community relations

A lot of schools struggle with good “town-gown” relations. Some are disliked by the community while others prosper. One of the best ways to get in good graces is by working with community leaders and organizations to bring in their staff to speak to students about what they do and how it relates to the curriculum. You’ll be making new friends in town in no time.

5. Give professionals a chance to connect with students

There are many professionals who would jump at the chance to come speak to a classroom full of your students. If you’re an elementary school teacher, interactive science demos would be neat. In middle school? How about a world-travel presentation from someone who’s done a lot of globe-trotting? And if you teach high school students, what about an intro to personal finance or a college admissions counselor? At any level, reach out to businesses in your area. You’d be surprised at what you find.

6. Parents love participating in their kid’s class

Bring your parent to work day is super-fun. But, what if someone has a not-so-fun job? (I mean, how long can you listen to an accountant talk about what they do?) Offer another option like displaying a hobby or fun side project they worked on. Parents like to be involved and see that their child is proud of them – and vice versa.

7. There are important lessons to learn

Sometimes it takes a guest speaker to hammer a point home. Whether it’s from their personal or professional experience guest speakers have the chance to make an impact. For example, when I was going through driver’s education, we listened to a father who lost his daughter in an auto accident because she wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Lesson learned. I don’t turn the car on until I have my seat belt on.

8. It’s just fun

You see your student’s smiles on their faces when someone amazing walks through the door. That’s what makes it all worth it — especially when you bring in someone students know. I remember when my college would host a speaker series. The excitement on campus was unforgettable.

Have you brought a lot of guest speakers into your classroom? How do they benefit your students? Do they detract from the curriculum? I’d love to start a discussion about why you’re pro or con on bringing in guest speakers. Start the discussion off below.


10 of the Best Thanksgiving Resources for Teachers

Thanksgiving Resources for Teachers

One of the big movements on social media this month is the November Thankfulness Campaign. It’s when you write something you’re thankful for each day of the month (It’s also no-shave November, but that’s a story for another blog post!).

The thankfulness campaign got me thinking about Thanksgiving this morning. The food, family, and the meaning of the holiday. That prompted a quick Google search to see what was on the web to help you incorporate Thanksgiving into your curriculum. Turns out, there’s a few resources out there you should know about:

1. Scholastic’s Guide to the First Thanksgiving

Want to know literally anything about Turkey Day? This is your website. It’s got everything you could ever imagine – from history to worksheets categorized by grade. They’ve done a great job.

2. Thanksgiving Story Worksheet

What I like about this worksheet is it’s interactive. Your students read about the story of Thanksgiving and are asked questions as they progress like “What do you think the pilgrims brought with them?”. I like that it can either be done as a solo activity or a group discussion.

3. Thanksgiving Color Pages (You’ve got to color, right?)

So, this is a little bit of stretch. Coloring was always therapeutic for me in school. so I figured it might be a relaxing activity for your kids. This page has a couple print-outs for you to use. And make sure your students color inside the lines. :p

4. History of Thanksgiving from the History Channel

Video is an amazing tool for the classroom. It keeps students engaged and is a nice break from reading or using a whiteboard. This History of Thanksgiving video gives you a great overview – and it’s not dry (like some things on the History Channel).

5. Map Your Recipe

I thought this resource was unique. Enter in any recipe – let’s say pumpkin pie – and it’ll tell you where all of those ingredients originated. While Home Economics isn’t really a class anymore, this could be fun for high school students interested in cooking and the migration of ingredients throughout the world.


With a brand-new revamped website, this guy has everything you’d want to know about the Mayflower – from a passenger list to genealogy. It’s neat to browse through everything, so head on over and take a look.

7. Thanksgiving Vocabulary

You’ve got to know the words of Thanksgiving! Here’s a list to get your students started so they’ll sound so well versed at the dinner table. Your students will blow their Grandparent’s minds when they start talking about gizzards and libations.

8. Hand-Turkey Templates

Who doesn’t love a hand-turkey? These are awesome and every student needs to make one at least once. Make this year, the year of the hand-turkey. Color and black & white templates are available here.

9. Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

Cooking is a lesson, too – and it helps bring families together (which is what Turkey Day is all about). Send your students home with recipes to make with their parents the morning of the big feast.

10. Visual History of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

And the parade. Oh, the parade. It’s a Thanksgiving tradition. And it turns out there’s a ton of history behind it. The great part about this site is it’s a visual slideshow. Interaction for the win! Enjoy the visual history behind one of America’s largest parades!

What Thanksgiving resources have you found that help teach the meaning of Thanksgiving to your students? List them below in the comments and I’ll add them to the list.

5 Ways Class Participation Goes Beyond Raising Your Hand

“Half of you have a C- in class participation right now.”

My heart sank. Was I really failing that bad in class participation? The part of my grade that is usually so easy to get an “A” in?

The class was Trends in Modern Thought. It was to fulfill my social sciences requirement to graduate. The material was thick as mud. It was a tough class (somehow I received an A). And class participation was actually graded. The professor observed who talked and who didn’t.

I raised my hand and said what I thought was right. I was wrong every time. But, I participated.

You don’t have to make class participation that hard or impossible to reach. It should be fun and easy to participate in your class – not terrifying and impossible.

Here are 5 creative ways to check if your students are participating:

1. Seeing you for help

That story above with the C- in class participation? What helped me in that class was going to see my professor for extra help. I wasn’t going to let him intimidate me – I wanted an A (or at least a B+). If students want extra help from you – before or after school – view that as class participation. They want to do better. It takes a lot for students to realize they need help and ask for it. Reward the students who seek help with class participation points.

2. Participating in a discussion

This is the classic class participation strategy. But, I want to take it one step further. I believe participating in a classroom discussion doesn’t simply mean one or two-word answers to easy questions. It means making a meaningful contribution to the discussion – even if other students disagree. All the more for a lively debate, right?

3. Helping other students

Just because your students don’t raise their doesn’t mean they’re not participating. If you notice students working together in pairs or teams and certain students are helping others to understand concepts, I’d count that as participation. While it’s not participation with you, it shows your students are willing to teach concepts they understand to their classmates. I’d argue that’s even better than simply raising your hand.

4. Writing summaries of readings

I had a college professor who would check off on his student roster if you participated that class or not. For his intro classes, you had to raise your hand, but for 300 and 400-level classes he offered the option of submitting reading summaries that were 500 words or less. And that would count as your participation. While I only took advantage of it once or twice, I enjoyed having the option if the reading made little to no sense at the time. Try the summary idea with your students and see what they think.

5. Showing up

I write this one mainly for the college crowd, but even for the K-12 teachers. Your students have to show up to class to participate. Having perfect attendance could be a great way to motivate students. And make sure to allow for an absence or two because of family matters or sports. It’ll help your introverted students, too. (But, they should be doing one of the above strategies).

Class participation helps students who would otherwise be quiet, be engaged in your classroom. And it’s important to note that participation doesn’t have to mean raising their hand and speaking in front of everyone. There are other ways to incorporate everyone into your lesson.

Do you do anything creative to get your students talking? Let me know in the comments below.


Why Substitutes Should Have the Chance to Teach

When you were in grade school, did you have a favorite substitute teacher? Someone who was just so captivating, they kept your attention more so than your real teacher?

I remember my favorite substitute teacher – Mrs. Laduke. She handed out Jolly Ranchers to students (much to the chagrin of dentists worldwide) which made her quite popular. And we typically didn’t watch movies with Mrs. Laduke. She actually taught us something.

Substitutes are teachers, too.

I learned a lot from my substitute teachers. And I think the best part was when they actually veered off course and talked about their own life stories, their own lessons, and imparted wisdom on all of us.

Now, curriculum is strict – it’s often set in stone with little deviation possible. That’s unfortunate because you can learn so much from someone else who comes into the classroom.

And I think that’s why there’s been a movement to call substitutes “guest teachers”. It’s spot on – that is what they are. They’re not a guest speaker, but a guest teacher.

And we should give them a chance to do so. Here’s 5 reasons why:

1. They have their own stories

I put this one on the list because it reminded me of one particular substitute experience in 5th grade. His name was Mr. Mullen. He was a World War 2 veteran. One morning he brought a musket to class – a social studies class, mind you – and talked about his experience in the war. We were all psyched. I had him a few weeks later in a math class. He turned the math problems into WW2 context – it was fascinating. See, teachers have their own stories to share. Their own lives make for engaging (and teachable) content.

2. They enjoy teaching

Why would someone take a job substitute teaching? Do you think it’s for the pay? No way. It’s because they love to teach, they enjoy working with students, and well, it’s something to do during the day. So, let them teach. Let them do more than just show a movie. Let them put their own spin on your lesson plans. Sounds a little risky, but it’s a nice change of pace.

3. It’s a break for students to learn something else

Speaking of a change of pace, substitute teachers are a great break from their regular teacher. That’s not to say their teacher is boring or less engaging. It’s just nice to have someone else stand-up in front of the class for once. And it may be a whole new teaching style, too. Shake things up by giving the students someone and something else to focus on – and who knows, they may learn something valuable.

4. Increase credibility and skills

There are some substitute teachers out there who should be full-time teachers – they are that good. And you probably know some of them. Being a substitute increases your credibility in the school system and helps develop skills they may not be as strong in. This means they’re able to better their public speaking, handling rowdy students etc. — all experiences they can talk about should they be choosing to pursue a more permanent position elsewhere.

5. Makes it fun

Substitute teachers are fun – just like Mr. Mullen in 5th grade or Mrs. Laduke throughout middle and high school. Not only were they fun substitutes, but they got the class engaged regardless of topic.

Many of these reasons are simply going to be plowed over by the common core standards set to be enacted soon. On one hand, I support the standardization of learning, but on the other hand, I believe it hurts the authenticity, originality, and storytelling substitute teachers offer a classroom.

What do you think? What’s your experience with substitute teachers? Are they as valuable as I think they are? Let me know in the comments below.