I first wrote about Padlet in the spring term when I used it in an adult directed, 3D shape hunt around school. It enhanced our shape hunt because children could work more independently, whilst reviewing their peers work and then photographing other 3D shapes their peers hadn’t spotted. You can read about this activity here because you will probably need to teach the skills before the children will do them independently.
This post is all about independent maths.
When I wrote this post it was late in the summer term and like all teachers around the world, I was busy gathering evidence for end of year assessments. This outdoor activity gave evidence for so many areas of learning. First up, I left just 1 iPad outdoors and the brief to photograph the shapes around the outdoor area (three skills observed right there, maths, technology and sharing!).
The 1 iPad was dominated by 1 child though and the activity needed more collaboration. So I intervened and introduced Padlet.
First of all Padlet is a website, not an app. This means it can be used across multiple platforms (MacBook, laptop, netbook, iPad). Before the lesson I set up a free account with Padlet and created a board for the lesson. This generates a URL for your Padlet board (a website address). From the iPads, I opened Safari and typed in the URL for my Padlet board. This gave access to the Padlet board for each iPad.
To use Padlet, you double tap a place on the board you want to post to. This gives you the option to type a note. Pressing the import icon opens a second tile. Tapping on this launches the camera app and a photograph can be taken and inserted to the board. Across all devices using the same Padlet URL, every post will be synced and displayed in real time. Therefore, all users will see the same images as they are inserted.
The Independent Shape Hunt Outdoors.
The group reviewed how Padlet worked and they set off to create a Padlet board of outdoor shapes. It was more collaborative as the large Clevertouch screen indoors meant they could categorise, review and edit their photographs. Padlet created more roles for the group and a sense of togetherness. By working on something that displayed in classroom, the group spent more time talking about what to photograph, the shapes they had found and also how to troubleshoot the app. They were engaged and motivated. The children passed freely from indoors to outdoors to review their work and check that Padlet was functioning as it should!
It was a great opportunity to see a group of children working collaboratively and creating their own response to a project brief on shape. Other children in the unit chose to show their shape understanding through art, design and even an oral presentation from 2 children and a box of shapes! This activity was just another independent activity that facilitated shape understanding and gave a group of learners a voice and choice. Taking an iPad outdoors put the emphasis on the shape hunt, and focused that group of learner’s attention to the project brief. Without a directing adult and an iPad, would they have completed a shape hunt with a tick list and clipboard?
For more activity ideas that enhance learning across all areas of learning in the Foundation Stage, download Marc’s book ‘iPads in the Early Years‘ available now on the iBookstore.
For a complete computing curriculum for early years, Marc’s book is also available here.