Using Plickers in the Music Classroom



Hi, everyone!  This is Jamie. A few weeks ago, my district had a school improvement day, and I had a technology professional development session. One of the topics discussed was the use of Plickers in the classroom. Before I went to this session, I had no idea what “Plickers” was, so I thought I would share with you what I learned.




Plickers is a student-response app that can be used to track formative assessments. Here’s how it works:
  • The teacher presents a multiple-choice question to the class.
  •  The students respond to the question using their own personal QR code. The students will choose the answer (either A, B, C, or D) and point their answer in the air.
  • The teacher will scan the classroom using either a smart phone or tablet to collect the data.
  • The app will store the data for future reference.


The best part of Plickers is that it is FREE! Here is an example of some collected data:



If you are interested in using Plickers in your classroom, here’s what you can do:
  • Go to www.plickers.com
  • Set up a free account
  • Search for the Plickers app on your smart phone/tablet and download it.
  • Print out the student-response QR cards on the Plickers website. You might want to laminate them.
  • If you want to track individual students, add classes to your account. You can even add the names of your students if you wish.
  • Under “Library,” add questions that you will ask your students (more on this down below).
  • After using the response cards in your class, use the data collected as a helpful tool in planning or as an assessment.


Once you have an account, the app, and the individual cards, you should be all set to go! The possibilities of using Plickers are endless, but here are some specific music classroom ideas you might want to consider:

1. Get to know your students’ preferences.
  • Plickers is an excellent tool in getting to know your students better. If you are looking for a theme for a concert, give your classes some choices and have them vote on a choice. If you want to know their opinion on a piece of music they heard, have them tell you. If you want to know their favorite instrument to play, ask them using Plickers.
  • Example Question: What instrument do you think would fit this part nicely?
    • A. Xylophone
    • B. Hand Drum
    • C. Recorder
    • D. Rhythm Sticks


2. Allow your students to self-assess.
  • After completing an activity, give your students an opportunity to assess their performance level.
  • Example Question: Can you hear and identify patterns with la?
    • A. I Can!
    • B. It’s getting easier.
    • C. It’s still difficult.
    • D. I need help.


3. Have your students identify correct/incorrect patterns in the music staff.
  • Use an activity such as “Could it be mi-re-do?” to determine if your students are correctly identifying the steps and skips between melodic pitches.
  •  Example Question: Could it be mi-re-do?
    • A. Yes
    • B. No



From my “All Things Melody: Re” bundle. The answer here is “no.”

4. Play any interactive game.
  • I love to use interactive games on my Interactive White Board, but I don’t like that only one student can give me the answer. With Plickers, all students can answer first and then a student could choose the answer with the most votes.
  • Example Question: Comes from my “Unlock the Lock Aural Game: Quarter Rest.” The students will hear a rhythm and must choose the correct answer. Please know that you could use any interactive game, but this is one I have used in my classroom.




5. Have the students identify a mystery song.
  • Put a list of songs on the board. If you are preparing/practicing a rhythm concept, tap the song for the students. If you are preparing/practicing a melodic concept, “loo” or play the song. The class must choose the song they heard from your list.
  • Example Question using syncopation: Which Song Do You Hear?
    • A. Canoe Song
    • B. Alabama Gal
    • C. Funga Alafia
    • D. Big Bunch of Roses



Since Plickers is new to me, I am hoping to try out some new ideas in the weeks to come. I hope you gained an idea or two that you can use, too!

8 comments

  1. Thanks for the ideas! I experimented with Plickers a little last Spring but have not gotten them back out this year. The stumbling block for me was knowing how to make their use seamless. Original ideas had me using them for assessment purposes, but that required assigning cards/students which is confusing with the number of classes and students that I see. The ideas you've cited have helped me to see ways that I might use Plickers without needing to worry about who had what number card. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  2. I love using Plickers in my class! So far, I've only used them to do mini assessments at the end of recorder units (right before we add a new note). I do a couple of questions where they match the notes names to the pattern, and then a couple questions where they listen for which melody I play. It is super effective to see who's "getting it." Plus the kids think it's cool when I can immediately tell them that "95% got it right." I really like the ideas you presented as it gives me ton more ways to use them in class. I think it might be neat to use them at the very beginning of the year as a "get to know you" activity. That way they'd already be familiar with using them the first week of school. Awesome post!

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  3. Thanks for the INFO!!! This is exciting to try--I LOVE learning about new technology that will make it easier to teach--ESPECIALLY easier to assess!!!! I really like the fact that Plickers only relies upon ONE piece of hardware technology and the cards--so much more accessible in the music room.

    In the 'olden days', we used pieces of laminated construction paper with 1, 2, 3, 4 written on one side and True/False on the other. Students would hold up their cards--with their pointer finger over the correct answer--easy to see at a glance. We called it: E.P.R. or Every Pupil Response.

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  4. I'm ready to give this a whirl !! I've been worried about the amount to time behind creating the assessments. I'm going to start of using it with just one grade level in hopes that it might be less overwhelming (given my 500 students). Has anyone used it with K or 1? If so, do they turn their codes the correct way to give accurate data? I'm excited to jump on board with this. Thank you for sharing your tips and working ideas.

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  5. Great information! I can't wait to try it!

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  6. It's a nice and interesting post.Thanks a lot for sharing. Social Bookmarking Sites List

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  7. I'm in the process of starting to use plickers and trying to get them all organized and have a few questions for those of you that use them frequently!
    1. Where/How do you store them in your room?
    2. Can you punch holes in the upper corner for ring hook to hang on a hook and it not interfere with the scanning?

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  8. Thanks for all the ideas. I have only used Plickers for pre-assessments and post-assessments. I really like the Plickers concept though I do hope they add some more functions so you can track certain kids better. The library function is new and helps a lot. (I've been using Plickers for almost 3 years now). Like others I'm also in the process of trying to figure out how to best use it in my classroom.

    Question: How do you hand the cards out? I do have numbered spots (well, numbered to me, the sharpie ink won't stick to the duck tape marks on my velcro tape attached to my carpet). #1 is always in the front-right corner and #30 is the back-left. Time to hand out and collect is what I'm always worried about. It would be nice to find a way to store them and be able to hand them out quickly when needed.

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