June 3, 2013

Another Monday Must

I admit it: I am definitely a techie geek teacher. I could easily get rid of books, paper, and all things hardcopy (well, maybe not pens... I love pens.... that's another story). I dream of a completely electronic, in the cloud classroom. I would love to have my textbooks on e-readers that could sync with the laptops that every student would have (our junior high and high schoolers do have them)... ah, someday before I retire!

Because of my love for technology many of my must have's take the form of websites or software programs. Last week I shared four of them. This week I'm sharing two.

1. Animoto... I wrote a blog post about this a while back. You can access it HERE, so I won't expound upon it on this post... just to say that if you are unfamiliar with this web tool, get familiar. Your students and you can create awesome videos for presentation and teaching... AWESOME!

2. Padlet, formerly known as Wall Wisher, is defintely on my Monday Must Have list.

This website allows you to set up a virtual bulletin board upon which you can place post-it notes (see previous Must Have Monday posts about my addiction to these mini-marvels). I've set-up Padlet boards for assessing student comprehension, making connections, answering a particular science question... the possibilities are endless. One thing that is FUN about this web tool is that I can sit at my desk computer and see live the work that my students are doing. As they work I can comment and even jump in and correct if need be. This is a great feature for beginners and is a way to help students with homework. When I assign one of my Padlet boards as homework I also set a time that I will be online that evening.  As students work on the board I am there to help them as needed.

Some new features have just been added that make this web tool even more teacher friendly. Users now have the ability to save Padlet boards as a .pdf, Excel, or image file. The boards can be embedded in webpages or blog posts (see below), and they can be shared via the most popular social media sites. Visitors can even subscribe to a board. LOVIN' Padlet more and more!

I also teach my students how to create boards and require them to build boards that their classmates must visit and respond to. Padlet is a SIMPLE, easy peasy way to incorporate technology into your curriculum, and it can help meet Common Core ELA Standards.

Here is my latest Padlet board (it is still in process as of this post's date). This board is used as a quick final response to the novel Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardner. My fifth grade ELA students are just learning how to use this web tool. They are also learning to include specific textual details in their responses as well as including the question in their answer. They have struggled with these skills all year.

Happy Monday,
Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk


  1. Padlet sounds SO EXCITING!!!! I can't wait to try this for next year! Thank you for sharing and linking up!

    Teaching with a Touch of Twang

  2. You're very welcome! I predict you and your students will get stuck on Padlet like we did! Hope to hear about your experiences with it.


  3. Oh my goodness :) I have only gotten two posts in and I can tell I am going to love your blog :) I love learning new techie ideas! I think that technology really is the way to get kids excited about learning! I'm looking forward to learning more from you!!


  4. Your students must LOVE you, Whitney! Your enthusiasm just shines through. I am so glad that we have connected. I'm looking forward to visiting your blog soon.


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