Smart Apps For Android: Teachers will never pick up spilled cans of name sticks again with Stick Pick

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Teachers will never pick up spilled cans of name sticks again with Stick Pick

Are you a teacher that has a can of sticks that constantly gets knocked over?  Are you a teacher or even a parent that struggles to present higher level thinking questions?  With all the new evaluation models in my state for teachers, I feel like I am constantly trying to balance making sure all students participate, making sure they all understand, presenting all levels of questions from Bloom's Taxonomy and many more things at one time.  Stick Pick is a great app that can really help with participation and the higher level questioning.  I was very excited when I found this app while teaching.

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Get it on Google Play

Available on Amazon Appstore


External links to developer's website

Stick Pick can be used in a few different ways.  The most basic way to use this app is to draw sticks from for students' names.  This can be useful in randomizing who a teacher calls on in a classroom.  It helps to make sure certain students are not always answering, while others are hiding in the backgrounds.  I always had a cup of sticks in my classroom, before I found this app, and I was constantly picking up spilled sticks.  I was also always trying to find a better place to put the sticks of the students I had already called upon.  None of these things are relevant with Stick Pick.  I can mark the stick as used or place it back in the cup.  Best of all -- it will never spill!

As if using electronic sticks was not enough, the teacher can even use the sticks to help generate question starters for the different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.  There are three choices of question stems: Bloom's,  Bloom's Revised, and ESL.  Choose what is most appropriate for each student, and when that student's stick comes up, it will automatically show the teacher a list of question starters.  These are great for coming up with a variety of questions and not getting stuck on the same type all the time.  

After asking a child a question from the selected level, the teacher is able to do a quick assessment of how the child answered.  The teacher clicks "assess", and then picks "correct," "incorrect," or "opinion." A log will be created of all these assessments that can be assessed and shared with others.

The only thing that I wish was different on Stick Pick is that I wish you didn't have to pick just one level of Bloom's for a student.  Although just having one level makes assessing easier, I would prefer to have a variety of questioning levels to choose and assess from.  Personally, I set the levels for levels that I struggle with asking questions in and levels that the children are not answering consistently.  If I have that high level on my screen, I find that I remember to ask the lower level questions also.

So, decide how you want to choose students by either shaking, tapping, swiping the screen, or maybe a combination and begin the random choose and higher level questioning.  This app is a great resource for any classroom teacher.  

From Google Play:

Pick a student at random just by giving your device a shake or tapping the screen -- but that’s just the beginning. Stick Pick suggests question starters for learners at different levels and also records how well students respond during classroom discussions. If a student is consistently scoring near the top or bottom, simply change the level so students aren't bored or frustrated. Depending on students' levels of English proficiency, they might be asked simple yes-or-no questions or to elaborate in longer sentences.
Stick Pick is the first app of its kind to uniquely link question stems to the cognitive or linguistic needs of each individual learner. Teachers can have multiple soup cans (classes) filled with sticks (students). During setup, teachers choose a category of question stems they wish to focus on for each learner. Questions can be based on Bloom's Taxonomy, English as a second language skills, and degree of difficulty can be chosen for each learner.
Formative assessment is easy to track because teachers can tap a corresponding correct, incorrect, or opinion button based on the student's answer. Teachers can also rate each student's answer by selecting 0-5 on a critical thinking rubric (Bloom's) or an elaboration rubric (for English as a second language).
Stick Pick is a handy tool for any teacher device and can guide classroom discussion and formative assessment in really helpful ways. Teachers can mark sticks so they aren't constantly calling on the same students or asking students the same questions over and over again.

Students in small groups can use Stick Pick too. During small group work, students can take turns asking one another questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy, making group work more productive and on-task.

Student progress is recorded and averaged automatically within the app and can be e-mailed by pressing "Send."
Effective teachers are always looking for creative ways to integrate higher order thinking questioning strategies into their lessons. Stick Pick is an easy way to challenge learners while supporting common core standards.
Finally -- no more sticks cluttering your desk! Now you can keep all your students’ sticks in one convenient place: on your mobile device!
• Create as many classes as you need
• Over 140 question stems categorized into three modes:
-Bloom’s Revised; and
-ESL (English as a Second Language)
• Copy an entire class, with or without scores
• “Swipe up,” “tap,” or “shake” to call on a student
• Level-appropriate question stems appear right on the screen
• Option to operate in Stick Only mode
• Sticks can be reset (put back in with the rest) or marked “used” in a special “used can”
• Toggle between used and unused sticks with a single tap
• Option to “peek” into each can to deliberately pick a particular student
• Operates in Left or Right Hand mode
• Collect formative assessment data using “Correct,” “Incorrect,” and “Opinion” buttons, AND
• Rate each learner's response on a 0-5 point rubric:
-Use the Critical Thinking Rubric (for Bloom’s & Bloom’s Revised mode); or
-Degree of Elaboration Rubric (for ESL mode)
• E-mail student data

Here is a video from the developer:

Heather S. was excited to see her name on a stick in the Stick Pick logo.

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