Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kindergarten Padlets


Last week, I attended a workshop with Kristin Ziemke on "Connecting Comprehension & Technology." It was great to hear exactly what I attempt to reiterate with my teachers. Some of the key points include:

  • Get students to be creative with their devices to express their learning.
  • Use a few apps that students can use to meet a wide variety of skills.
  • Technology is going to fail you from time to time; it is okay. 
This week, I proposed one of her ideas to Mrs. Kuehnert (Kindergarten teacher at Wayne Center Elementary). Since the students have been using Hello! Crayons, it made a perfect opportunity for students to draw illustrations and label new things they learn while Mrs. Kuehnert read a non-fiction text aloud. The students were extremely engaged in the activity and were able to demonstrate clearly to Mrs. Kuehnert something they learned. After the students saved their work, the students submitted their work to a Padlet using QR Reader by Scan. (Click here if you are unfamiliar with Padlet.com.) Here is the breakdown of the activity:
  1. Prepare the students for thinking about what they are going to illustrate and label during the first reading. Have them focus on something new they learned. 
  2. Have a modeled example ready for the discussion after the first reading so that the expectations are set. (I modeled this while Mrs. Kuehnert was reading since there were two teachers present.)
  3. Before you reread the text, have a few students share something they learned that they want to illustrate. 
  4. Reread the text and be ready to deal with a few drawing sounds coming out of their iPads. :) 
  5. Have students save their work by pressing the purple save ion, and then choose "save to gallery."
  6. Pull up your pre-created Padlet on your screen and have the QR code displayed. Demonstrate how to scan the code using QR Reader by Scan.
  7. Have students press their home screen buttons and open their QR Reader. Have students line up as they have the app open and rotate up to the screen to scan the code and return to their places. (The flow is rough at first, but Kindergarten students are good at Follow the Leader.) 
  8. Have students double-tap on the Padlet wall. 
  9. The students need to type their name on the top line in the box that appears. 
  10. Next, the students need to tap on the "underlined arrow". 
  11. A box will appear, and the students need to tap on it. 
  12. Another box will appear and students need to select "choose existing". 
  13. Students then need to select their camera roll. 

  14. They need to find their photo which is more than likely the last in their collection if it was just saved.
  15. Final step for the students is to tap somewhere on the blank wall so that the photo sets on the canvas. This doesn't always seem to be necessary, but I feel it is "better safe than sorry" when it comes to Kindergarten. They need to get a little emotional when technology doesn't work. 
  16. Discuss the learning that took place by looking at the Padlet as a class. At this point, I would recommend having the students press their homescreen buttons so that they do not accidentally add more items to your Padlet. 
My ultimate goal for Mrs. Kuehnert is that this becomes a part of her regular routine; the kids create with their iPad and submit to a Padlet independently by scanning the QR code when they finish their work. It will take some practice and she will have to rely on her expert students (scan masters), but I've made her a believer and she is looking forward to the exciting things students can accomplish on their iPads and her ability to share what the whole class is learning through Padlet. 

Some final tips: 
  • Set the Padlet to be organized into a "grid" so that the items are automatically organized for you. 
  • If you want to share your Padlet with parents or other teachers, change the settings to "can view" after the activity so that no extra items appear on your Padlet. 
Check out our Padlet on Sea Turtles: