Question 1 – How do you get friends and family, who are isolated from each other, to come together and engage in some light-hearted competitive fun?
Answer – An online quiz
Before schools were told to close to the majority of children, Mrs Chapman and I had been in lessons and observed how teachers were making links between lessons with many teachers using short quizzes about what had previously been learned. During these sessions we saw how motivated the children were and how proud they were when able to recall their newly-acquired knowledge to answer questions successfully.
Skip forward a couple of months and the use of quizzes to entertain and keep people connected during our national lockdown seems to be increasing dramatically. Over the last few weeks, I have seen family, friends and colleagues becoming extremely “passionate” about the quizzes they have either created themselves or been involved in – and not just me querying why my answer, which has been marked incorrectly, is also justified and should allow me the point!
The use of online platforms such as WhatsApp, FaceTime and Zoom have allowed these activities to be organised and played live with people being safe in their own homes (or a safe as a person can be when surrounded by a range of salty snacks and drinks!). The high level of enthusiasm and engagement has meant that, for an hour or two, people have not thought about the various problems and challenges around them but have laughed, felt some appropriate frustration and hit the highs of answering that obscure question others can’t.
To be successful in a quiz, a person needs to have a good range of knowledge across a variety of subjects. However, they also need to be able to make connections between what may appear to be unrelated facts so that themed, linked and more cryptic type questions can be solved. In school, we teach children a considerable amount of knowledge, skills and concepts and purposefully make connections between them. Although our ultimate aim is not to create children who, as adults, will be able to successfully compete in TV and pub quizzes, we would see that as being a great measure of success!
Additionally, we all know how we feel when we answer a challenging question within a quiz or game: pride, high self-esteem, joy. Having the ability to learn new things and be able to recall quickly is important for how successful we can be in our lives but also how we feel about ourselves.
From the weekly year groups posts, I know that parents/carers have supported their children’s knowledge building during home learning activities as they have provided so many opportunities – from baking to bike maintenance, from caring for pets to learning about how boats float. When you have spent time with your child and engaged with them in their learning you have supported them to learn and make connections which will help them for years to come, in many ways.
In the coming weeks, as families play various games and are involved in home quizzes, I hope you can appreciate the fun that everybody is having and the importance of the knowledge and skills you have helped your children gain to be able to participate. Once the children return to school we will do all we can to help children learn as much as possible so they can be even more successful in these activities and hopefully help them to beat the adults they take on more often. You never know we might even get a winner on Who Wants to be a Millionaire … cough, cough!