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How Can We Use Popplet for Home Learning?

Today I played around with the website Popplet. This is a brilliant website that could be used at home to consolidate learning in National Curriculum core and foundation subjects. The popplet boards are like mind maps. I took the Y3 Science curriculum as an example and made a popplet board to demonstrate my understanding of some of the key knowledge.

This is brilliant because it is an opportunity for children to retrieve information they can remember from before school closures. Also, teachers could give feedback and prompts for children to add to their popplets. This will help them to build a robust schema. A schema is an interconnected web of items and knowledge (Didau).

You could set this as a home learning activity and children can make a popplet board on the demo mode, without any sign up. You can just share the website URL and ask children to take a photograph of their work. The dark blue box is a set of simple instructions to show you the steps to follow when making a board. This is helpful and children could follow this with very little adult support. There is also a draw feature so that children can demonstrate their understanding of the graphic parts of Science. For example, how a shadow is formed.

These would be great to use alongside the Plenty Think retrieval mats. These activities include all of the key knowledge and vocabulary for History, Science and Geography National Curriculum topics. You could use them to set a Popplet task and then prompt children to add further information.

Useful Retrieval Practice Websites and Apps

Nearpod: Nearpod is a website that teachers can use to makes quizzes, polls, games and lessons. Basic access is free and children can join using a code. Given the Covid-19 situation, access to the student paced mode is free until June. There are paid upgrades available for assigning homework and accessing lessons.

Collaborate Boards

I like the Nearpod ‘collaborate board’ feature best. You can pose a question, for example ‘What is a shadow?’ and children can type their responses. Responses appear as post it notes on the board. If you use Apple Airplay, you can show the class their responses. For home learning, you could screenshot your collaborate board once you have received enough responses. You can also use an image tool to allow children to add images from Google safe search.

The Draw it feature allows children to draw their responses. This will help you to assess their understanding of the graphic aspects of Science. Have they included a light source and an object to block it in their representation of a shadow?

Gamified review quiz:

You can create whole class quizzes which are open ended. You can enable audio responses so that children can explain their answers. Children use a code to join. Leader scores are available so that you can add a competitive element to the activity.

Nearpod Lesson Library

There are extra resources in here which may be suitable for home learning. For example, a matching pairs game and other interactive lessons and activities.