Tag Archives: Padlet

Blackout Poetry with Fourth Graders

I decided to be a risk taker and try blackout poetry with my fourth grade classes.  I saw this several years ago but wasn’t sure how it would work and whether they would “get it”. Previous examples used newspaper or magazine articles and I just didn’t think this would excite our students.  But I think it was a success with most of them really enjoying it and excited by the process.

Finding the Right “Hook”

Somewhere I read about a librarian who used photocopies of the first page of chapter books for the basis of the poems (I would attribute this idea if I could remember where I saw it).  I browsed our fiction section to choose ones that really grabbed the readers attention.  This group also needs motivation to pick out chapter books and actually read them.  I thought this activity might inspire some of them to check out the books.  I didn’t reveal what books they came from until after the had completed the poems and they were excited when they recognized their page.

Introduction and Examples: Google Slides and YouTube

I created a brief Google Slides that contained examples of blackout poetry and then I showed the students a video about Austin Kleon, a writer who is well known for his newspaper blackout poetry.

Then I randomly gave out the copies of first pages along with pencils.

The Creative Process

Some students struggled a bit at first, but after they relaxed and were assured there really wasn’t a “right” way to do, they made progress.  This activity was completed over two library visits with instruction and creating taking about 20 to 30 minutes each time.

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Students in the initial stages circling words in pencil.

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Getting serious now!  Blackening in with crayons.

Sharing Using Padlet

I wanted a way for the students to be able to read each others poems so decided on Padlet.  After taking photos of each completed poem I uploaded them.  I emailed the classroom teachers the Padlet link and asked that they share with their students.  In the case of one of the teachers this will be her only opportunity to see her students’ work as she nearly always sends her para to the library while remaining in her classroom!

Here are the two links:

Made with Padlet

Made with Padlet

I will definitely do blackout poetry again next year for National Poetry Month!

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5th Grade Brainstorming for Exhibition

We are introducing the PYP Exhibition to our 5th graders.  A couple weeks ago our IB (International Baccalaureate) coordinator spoke to each class to give them an overview of the Exhibition and last week I had them examine the IB Mission Statement.

The PYP Exhibition is, according to the IBO website, an extended, in-depth, collaborative project which involves students working collaboratively to conduct an in-depth inquiry into real life issues or problems.

Brainstorming Real Life Issues

This week I worked with each class to help them brainstorm issues or problems by introducing them to the United Nations’ Global Goals.  I was inspired by Pam Weiger, teacher librarian at Allisonville Elementary School (an IB-PYP school in Indianapolis) who created a Google Slides for students to work through some videos and activities.  I borrowed her idea to create a Google Slides with links to some YouTube videos, etc.

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Working individually on their tablets.

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Katesa Walker, our IB coordinator, working with students, answering questions and guiding them through the activity.

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Video Introduction: We the People

The students watched the video, “We The People: The Global Goals for Sustainable Development” on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpqVmvMCmp0&feature=youtu.be) and were asked to write any questions they had on sticky notes.  These were posted on a world map and were their “ticket out the door”.

Padlet for Listing Issues

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We also had the students list one issue or problem they were aware of so that everyone could see the collective knowledge of all four classes.

Made with Padlet
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Questions color coded by class.

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Third Grade Opinion Writing and Padlet

I wanted to give the third grade students another opportunity to practice typing on their tablets and wanted to have another go at using Padlet.  I choose to read Hannah and Phillip Hoose’s book, Hey, Little Ant (illustrated by Debbie Tilley) and we focused on the International Baccalaureate concept, perspective.  The last sentence of the book is, “What do you think the kid should do?”

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I created a Padlet using the “shelf” template so that I could create two columns, one headed “Squish the ant” and the other “Ant goes free.”  I instructed the students to choose one opinion and write a response citing two reasons to support your opinion.

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Technology Set-Up

The first time I introduced Padlet to this grade level a couple of weeks ago, I had them bring their Dell tablets with their keyboards and mouse.  They have to have an external keyboard as our tablet case cover “bounces” as they use the on-screen keyboard and that keeps opening up response windows.  That didn’t go so well; tablets weren’t charged, keyboards were forgotten, they couldn’t type the shortened URL in correctly, etc.  So this time I logged into 6 of our library desktops in advance and had the website pulled up.  This went much more smoothly.  It wasn’t a whole group activity, but I just kept rotating the students through.

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This second time around they were more focused on their writing and less on trying to read other students’ responses.  I think this is partially because they weren’t seeing so many boxes popping up in real time, which really distracted them.

I also encouraged the students to type with two hands (even if they are only using their index finger).  This speeds up their typing and this is important on the state test where they have to do several extended responses.  Unfortunately, we don’t have structured keyboarding instruction.

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I do have one iPad which also worked. 

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One student who was responding later in the visit noticed that more of his classmates had decided that the ant should go free.  Interesting that he noticed and heartening to see that more of them are respectful of the ant!

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International Day of Peace and The Chickens Build a Wall

I recognized International Day of Peace with most of the grades this year and for the fourth grade classes I read Jean-Francois Dumont’s book, The Chickens Build a Wall.  After reading the book, I posed several questions about the book and asked them to respond to one of them.

Padlet: Student Writing

I introduced Padlet to these students.  The questions were posted in columns and the students used their tablets (we are a 1:1 school) to access Padlet and write a reflection.  Time did not allow for the students to respond to their classmates ideas, but I hope the teachers will take this digital tool and use it in the classroom where they have more time.  They did enjoy reading what other students wrote.

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Making a Connection with the Real World

One of our students made a connection with the central idea of the book to something they heard was happening in the United States today.  Check out Kate’s response:

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International Day of Peace and The Enemy

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We recognized the United Nation’s International Day of Peace during the week of September 18-22.  I wanted the students to be aware of and reflect on the concepts surrounding IDP, but I also wanted to introduce/use a digital tool to 5th grade students.

I read the book, The Enemy: A Book About Peace by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch.   I think  some the students were a little surprised by the simplicity of the illustrations and text.  But, for the most part they really got into the story and had definite opinions about it.

Padlet as Response Method

We are a 1:1 school so I had the students bring their tablets with their keyboard and mouse so that the students could share their ideas on Padlet.   (I attempted to use Padlet once in the past without a keyboard and mouse and it was a disaster.  The tablet case’s covering bounced as the student typed and Padlet kept opening up multiple windows!).

I handed out the questions after I read the book and we went over them as a group and they chose one question to respond to. Screen capture of Padlet

My time with each class is limited so the students did not have the opportunity to respond to each other, although they did enjoy reading their classmate’s writings.  I will use Padlet again with this grade and as they have been exposed to it, time will likely permit a more interactive experience.

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3rd Grades: Perspective and Padlet

By this time of the school year I am in need of inspiration.  Standardized state tests are coming up and spring break is still weeks away.  So I asked the 3rd grade chair what skills I should be covering with the students the following week.  I had read Brendan Wenzel’s book, They All Saw a Cat, to them the week before so the idea of “perspective” was on my mind.  I wanted to introduce the students to another digital tool, so after brainstorming we decided we would do something about perspective and have the students use Padlet to record their response.

Photograph and Padlet

I found an intriguing photograph that I thought might inspire some interesting thoughts and could provide different storylines of what is going on. I googled, “What’s going on in this picture?” and found the New York Times’ website, “What’s Going on in this Picture?” https://goo.gl/G21vdd.  I choose the photo by Danielle Zalcman, which shows some Native Americans on horseback facing a line of law enforcement officers.  We don’t really know what is going on; you have to wait until a week after the photo is posted to find out the details.

I created a Padlet and arranged for the students to bring their tablets to the library.  I projected this classic image to grab the students attention and explained perspective:

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Wikipedia: Brocken Inaglory

“Perspective: What are the points of view?” is one of the International Baccalaureate’s Key Concepts.  Then I projected this photograph:

Credit: Danielle Zalcman

We asked the students to describe what they thought was going on.  We reminded them to provide text evidence of their opinions and statements. This was also a good opportunity for the students to practice writing using their tablets, which is a component of the upcoming Georgia Milestones test.

Check out one classes’ responses to the photograph: https://goo.gl/dHrvxx

Screen shot of Padlet

What Is On the Minds of Our Children (Real World Comes into the Library)

You can see what is on the mind of one our Latino’s students:

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This post is also from a Latino student but she focuses on the caring/protective aspect of police work:

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The students really enjoyed reading each others’ posts, too.  Very successful use of technology, a IB/PYP concept and writing practice!

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World Read Aloud Day 2017

We are participating in World Read Aloud Day again this year and fourth grade classes are my target once again.  We have had a crazy start back after winter break with 2 winter storms.  January 2 brought a severe storm with 90 mph straight-line winds with large sections of the city without power (in many cases for up to a week) and many streets blocked for days by fallen trees.  Nine schools were without power for days.  Sooooo, our students did not go back to school on January 6th as planned, but on January 17th.

Curiosity Week-WRAD

So after readjusting library visits and curriculum, I read Journey by Aaron Becker for Curiosity Week.  They really enthralled by this wordless picture book. I showed the students the trailer after sharing the book and then we used Flipgrid to respond to that book.  They loved all parts of that activity.

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https://flipgrid.com/07d9e3

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And then….our city was hit by a tornado on January 22, with 5 deaths and hundreds of homes blown away or destroyed.  Again, our students were out of school for a week. All that to explain why my schedule for celebrating and leading up to World Read Aloud Day has been a bit loosey-goosey.  These storms were playing havoc on any continuity!

Kindness Week-WRAD

Again, I didn’t follow the recommended weeks due to our extremely interrupted school schedule due to the 2 storms.  Next, I read Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig to the 4th grade students. They really enjoyed this book and I thought that kindness was a timely topic as many of the students were impacted by the storms and had been on the receiving end of kindness.  After reading the story I had them respond using Padlet. Padlet was a new experience for most of them and they especially enjoyed seeing their classmates’ responses.  I try to expose students (and their teachers) to different digital technologies hoping that the teachers will pick up on these various ways to use technology with their classes.

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Made with Padlet

Their responses were not as deep or thoughtful as I would have liked, but as this was the first time they used Padlet, they are usually so enamored with the technology that it overshadows the actual writing.  But, hey, anytime I can get them to practice writing and typing on their tablets I figure I am helping prepare them for their state standardized writing test.  The Georgia Milestones will be administered to all 4th grade students online this year and the more often they use these technologies the more comfortable they will be with them.

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