Monday, February 2, 2015

Using Padlet in the Classroom

A tool that I recently started using in the classroom is PADLET. I was familiar with it, but didn't know exactly how to incorporate it. We played around with it last year, but I didn't have much success.

What is PADLET? Padlet is basically an online bulletin board. A teacher can post a question, a link, or an image on the wall and the students can respond on the wall. It is a great way for students to collaborate and to be creative. I love it because I can see all of their work in ONE place. I can easily assess who has not completed the assignment and I can easily assess who needs to keep working on the assignment. Since others can see the wall, it encourages the students to do their BEST work and it gives them an authentic audience. 

One of our more recent Padlet posts.

I started out the year having my students respond to the prompt, "It's Monday, What Are You Reading?" I would write that phrase on a piece of chart paper and the students would write down the title of the book that they were reading and their name. The students loved doing this and it was a great way for the students to get some great book suggestions. Now I look back on that practice and laugh because Padlet has made it SOOOO much better! 

I read about creating a Padlet for "It's Monday, What Are You Reading?"in a blogpost by Kristin Ziemke. I thought that this idea was brilliant! What a great way to digitize my practice, adjust my expectations for my students, and to make our work public. Kristin Ziemke also helped me via Twitter figure out how to keep my Padlet neat and organized! Important note!!!! When setting up your padlet, go into settings(the cog wheel) and click on layout, then click on grid. This was life changing! The freeform layout did not do much for us and just caused us frustration! 

I started this in late December and continued it when we came back to school in January. I love it! The students have improved each week and they have referred back to the Padlets to get book ideas. 
We have focused on basic skills like capitalizing the title of our book and using punctuation to more complex skills like writing down the point of view of the story. We tweet them out every week from our class Twitter account @Skogstad_Class

Here are a couple of examples...

February 2nd Padlet

January 12th Padlet

January 5th Padlet

Another way that I have used Padlet is for Wonder Wednesday. Each Wednesday, I post a "wonder of the day." It is usually an article from Wonderopolis, but not necessarily. I just LOVE Wonderopolis, so I can usually find something good from their site! I post a link to the article on a Padlet and the students read the nonfiction article and respond to my prompt.  I choose articles that relate to our standards or something that we have been discussing in class. For example, we are currently reading A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. We have been discussing the water cycle and how the water supply can be different all around the world. I had the students read an article about water and then post a response on the Padlet.  They had to record a "thick question" that they would research further and then also write about what they learned. 

Another Padlet that they completed was an article that compared bacteria and viruses on Wonderopolis.   
They had to read the article and list in order the top 5 things that they learned.  They had to rank them in order by what they thought was the most important. This is what they came up with...
Viruses vs. Bacteria

We have had a lot of fun using Padlet. It is interactive, creative, collaborative, and fun to use! 
A sample of a Padlet post.