"Don't give us worksheets. Make the lessons interactive." "I want to be able to move around the room." "I like learning through games." Those were some of the responses I received from students at the beginning of the school year. I had passed out exit tickets with the question "What do you need to be successful this school year?" After reading through them, I decided that I would do everything I could to meet students' needs according to their requests. From giving less worksheets to allowing them to listen to music while working, I've decided that I'd put in more hours during planning to ensure that my students have a great experience with me this school year. Not only do I want them to learn lots of writing and reading skills, but I want them to have fun doing it!
As stated on iTunes, "Padlet is a digital canvas to create beautiful projects that are easy to share and collaborate on." It's just like a piece of paper; you can create a list, record a video, and post pictures. The list goes on and on! I've used Padlet for about three years in the classroom. In the past, I used it for exit tickets. I also used it for reviewing unit assessments. In retrospect, I think I used it for myself than for students. That sounds odd, but that's exactly what happened. I had the mindset that Padlet would benefit me. This year, my mindset is different. When planning, I only think about my students. Every detail of the plans are centered around them.
This week we've been studying prepositions! My students have been refining their ability to identify and use prepositions and prepositional phrases. Today, they were able to engage in a fun and interactive activity. No paper was involved. They were able to move around the room. They had fun! I used Padlet as a way for them to practice using prepositional phrases in their writing. They snapped photos of objects or peers (with their permission), typed captions for the photos, and posted to Padlet. Their captions had to include a prepositional phrase to describe the position of the object or person in their picture.
Preparing for this activity was pretty simple. I created a Padlet account online. After signing up, I designed a page (padlet) for each class period. I created a title, chose a cool background, and typed a description for the page. To share your page, you can either use the link provided or the QR code. We all know that QR codes are so much faster than having to type a long web address, so I went with the QR code. I had my students download the app a day before we actually used it. It saved so much time! I made a list of instructions for them to follow:
I walked around the room assisting anyone who needed help. I even handed my phone to students who didn't have their own. I displayed the live feed on the whiteboard. They had so much fun seeing their posts. When they were finished, I had them sit down. We scrolled down the page looking at each post. At the end of class, I had them write a reflection on how well they liked the activity. Below are actual responses from my students:
It's not about me; it's about the kids. I hope that there are many more days that my students leave my classroom as excited and fulfilled as they did on this day.