I used Poll Everywhere to create several polls. A question is created and responses can be open-ended or multiple choice. Here are some examples that I created:
Polls can be answered by text message or online. I would use online voting in my classroom rather than the text message option. The site to vote could be put on a class Diigo account to make it easy for students to vote. This type of poll has more options available than Activotes, because polls can be open-ended and because voting can be done throughout the day or week. Polls could be used to discuss character traits, determine main idea or discuss story elements. The poll could have a part of the story arc and students could respond with the part of the story that fits the given arc component. Students can participate anonymously, which may help some students feel more comfortable participating. Participation may also be increased because students have more think time, especially if the poll is done over a week. When poll results are discussed, students may be defending the answer they gave or a peer's answer since it is anonymous. Students may also participate more when discussing reasons for an answer if they know their opinion is the same as some of their peers. Polls are online, so parents could be also invited to participate. (Polls can even be emailed to parents.)
I used Wall Wisher to create a wall. This wall could be emailed to the emails of the students' parents or the address could given out at Meet the Teacher to get students excited about the new school year. Students do not need an account to post to the wall.
Because the "sticky notes" can be moved, this would be a great way to make a story arc. Students could add events from the story throughout the week. The wall could be put on the Activ Board and students could arrange the story parts and discuss the shape of the story arc. Students could answer a question on the wall or write supports for a claim. In science, students could list examples of a given state of matter or a natural resource. In social studies, students could write or find examples online of services. Wall Wisher gives students more think time if the results are reviewed after several days or several times over a unit of study, which increases participation. Students could work in pairs to create a note, which may help students who are reluctant to participate. Participation may also increase because the sticky notes can be text or a link to an online image, audio clip, or video. The wall provides students the opportunity to use websites to express ideas or use an image to explain an idea. This option would be beneficial to ESL students and students who have difficulty explaining an idea. It would also increase participation because students enjoy sharing information that they find online.