I introduced Quiz Bowl to 36 fourth graders, and when the game ended, the kids threw all sorts of ideas at me about using the game.
"We can use it to practice our math facts."
"It would be great for social studies."
"I think we can use it in any subject."
"What if we do everything with this game?"
"Can we keep it in our classroom?"
Listen to these students talk about Quiz Bowl in their What I Did in School Today Podcast.
But the kids weren't the only ones excited about the possibilities of the game. The two teachers and one administrator present also were ready to take on more challenges with Quiz Bowl.
"Can I sign it out?"
"Can we order more of the remotes so the whole class can play?"
"I'm going to put it on my order at the end-of-the-year."
So How Does It Work?
The game package comes with software (Mac and PC), and with it you can add any questions you want, set the time to be given for answers, and decide upon values for questions. I put in 40 questions worth 100 points each, and added 10 bonus questions, worth different values over 100. I set the time at 15 seconds for responses. To get the number of questions and value of each question into the game, from my computer, all I had to do was to connect a USB cable (comes with the package) between my computer and the main scoring device. The questions may be exported for printing, so I selected that option.
There are two scoreboard units, one for each team. You can add additional units if you wish, but two come with the game package. A cable connects the scoreboards. The scoreboards are used to flash the number of the question, to show the on-going score, to do the countdown to answer, and to determine which player signaled in first.
Ten remote wireless remotes (five in light blue and five in dark blue) are in the package. You can order additional ones if you wish. When the game begins, each player signs in to the game by pressing the button on his or her remote. This tells the game system which player is which.
Once the players have logged in, a moderator reads a question from the question sheet or the computer, and then the moderator or someone else uses the game controller to start the countdown for answering. Players can only signal in during the countdown. The scoreboard for the team that signaled in first will show which player must answer. If the answer is correct, the person with the game controller presses Correct and the score for that question goes on the scoreboard. If the answer is incorrect, Incorrect is pressed and the value for that question is deducted from the team score. After wrong answers, the other team gets a chance at the question. When all the questions in a game (fifty is the limit) are answered, the scoreboard flashes the score for the winning team.
Why Is Quiz Bowl Perfect for Any Classroom?
Motivation. I've worked with the game so far with students in Grades 4 and 8, but I think just about any grade would love it.
Review. Quiz Bowl is a great way to review content at the end of a unit for a test. It makes review lessons exciting.
Study Skills: I haven't tried the game this way, but I think it would be perfect for encouraging better study skills. If a teacher were to announce that there would be an upcoming Quiz Bowl competition on a particular topic, you can be sure that most students would try to get ready for the game.
Easy to Use: The game is extremely simple to put to use and there's almost no setup.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Read the directions before jumping into the game action with a class. Although the game doesn't take much set up time, you need to know how to work the controller and how to key in each player. If you are like me, and often set things up without looking at the directions, I wouldn't suggest it with Quiz Bowl.
The game comes with two sample quizzes, one set up for 10 questions and one for 20. At first, I looked for the sample questions. There are none. The samples are simply a pattern set up with a number of questions, timing for the questions, and the value of the questions. You read your own 10 or 20 questions and use the values set up for those games. This means that if you want, you can always use the sample quizzes and therefore will never have to use the software.
To set up your own games, you'll use the computer software. You type in your questions and set the timings and values you want. My 50-question game once loaded to the game unit, could then be used with any set of 50 questions, just like the sample quizzes for 10 and 20 questions. For example, if you have questions from the National Geography Bee or questions from your textbook, you can use them. You don't have to type them into the computer unless you want.
Keep in mind that you'll need lots of AAA batteries: two for each remote and some for the game controller.
I found that it worked best if I told the students that the moderator would not repeat the question. Younger students, especially, will be so interested in pressing their remotes that they will not pay any attention to the question--if you are willing to repeat it.
Play a practice game with the students if it's your first time using the game. This way you can get adjusted to the game controller.
You might have a student work with the game controller or read the questions. You can do both, but it's easier if two people handle these things.
You may need an extension cord. It will depend upon the set up.
Have fun. You and your students will go away with a smile after the game. Even the losing team will be smiling.
GeoSafari Quiz Bowl
May be ordered from Educational Insights
Price: $499 for 2 scoreboards, controller, 10 remotes, software, and connections.