I am a Texas Teacher and in Texas we are STAAR C-R-A-Z-Y right now! STAAR is our statewide test. The Reading STAAR had a serious overhaul (compared to our previous TAKS test) therefore, every administrator and testing grade teacher is in a tizzy! The reading test is no longer a comprehension test. There is also a mix of other genres not just fiction passages and a biography. So, I have made it my mission to increase my students' exposure of non-fiction text through magazines, websites, online journals and pamphlets.
This year I'm working in a GT pull-out program. We are lucky enough to have 10 iPad Minis. It has been a learning experience having them. I've changed a lot of my views about technology in the classroom. I don't see the need to collect phones anymore, but I do think students should utilize their technology to further their education. Today, I'm going to show you a new App that helps create graphic organizers for any grade level and any subject area.
Last week, I used the App to work on Science TEKS 5.10 (C) describe the differences between complete and incomplete metamorphosis of insects. I began the lesson by accessing prior knowledge. Some kids knew that morph meant to change or transform. But none of them knew the difference between a complete and incomplete metamorphosis.
Now, you're probably familiar with KWL charts. I've used them in the past, but I have a major issue because what the students WANT TO KNOW is rarely answered in our reading. So, instead I use a Prior Knowledge and New Learning t-chart.
I explained that their lesson objective today was to learn the difference between complete & incomplete metamorphosis in insects. They would use the iPad to go to the website, askabiologist.asu.edu. There they could read all about metamorphosis, see videos, look at pictures and take notes. After students completed their notes/research, they were given clay to demonstrate their learning.
I want to tell you all about Popplet Lite! I've heard about it from other bloggers and I decided to give it a try. It's a FREE App that allows students to create their own Graphic Organizers or Thinking Maps (I wish it had circles, though). I wanted the students to be creative and choose how they wanted to display their learning. Shockingly, no two looked alike. Some were venn diagrams, some looked like life cycles or flow maps and some were tree maps. I thought it was awesome to see how students learned the same concept, but were able to demonstrate their learning in very different ways.
Here are a couple of nifty things about Popplet Lite. First, you can change colors. The kiddos loved that. Next, I found out
on Day 4, that you could press "VIEW ALL" to see all of the popplets on the page. So, if your kiddos made 2 popplets about complete & incomplete metamorphosis, they could see both of them and use export to save them to the camera roll or e-mail them to you.
At the end of the day, our exit ticket was our "New Learning". I wanted to know everything they learned about Metamorphosis, including the difference between complete and incomplete metamorphosis. My favorite part of my current position is that every lesson involves cross-curricular learning. We used a plethora of skills: note taking, technology, art, photography, text features, graphic organizers and science.
Have you ever used Popplet Lite? If not, what ideas do you have to use it in your classroom? If you're a Texas Teacher, click on my blog button below to following my blog.