There’s a lot to learn and learning begins on the very first day of our lives! It might even begin before birth, but since nobody has ever been born with the innate ability to read and write, we know that these well-known signature skills of a civilization must be acquired and nurtured.
There are many other essential skills that a fledgling human learns: eating with a spoon, getting on with others, getting dressed… and most do so at different rates. However, when a child reaches classroom age, understanding the symbolic representation and reproduction of language becomes of primary importance – with good reason.
Almost everything we know about everything is written down somewhere: restaurant menus, The Dead Sea Scrolls, some traffic signs, this blog…
Learning about our own culture, other current cultures, and previous cultures informs and lends intelligence to our perception and decision-making process. Directly affecting in a big way everything around about us. Reading has resulted in enormous changes in how humans have evolved and will continue to do so.
Gaining knowledge of and progress in any area, academically or otherwise, requires a firm grasp of literacy skills.
Humans have been treading the earth for around 200,000 – 300,00 years. We developed the ability to speak to each other some 50,000 years ago. As the human voice is considered to be the very first musical instrument, most evolutionary biologists believe that speaking and singing are inseparable. This makes song a deeply innate instinct, and a powerful learning tool.
Most parents begin singing to their children in the first weeks of life and infants usually learn to sing songs before they develop intelligible speech. Through song and music, children first experience and learn about letters, numbers, colors, animals, and everyday objects and events Using songs as a part of learning activities outside of the music classroom for teenage learners is rare. Perhaps teachers believe that music and song are the realm of the music classroom, or that the songs they choose might not interest the students, but songs are as universal as language and can, therefore, be used to develop skills in a wide range of subjects.
Literacy: songs can teach vocabulary, improve reading skills, highlight idiomatic language in context, clarify complex ideas with reverse learning filtering through to a student’s writing.
Language learning: songs have become a language classroom staple.
Structure: songs are poems and they follow set patterns. Essential skills can be learned from studying songs and applied universally.
History: almost all periods of modern history have songs attached to them. Romantic, patriotic, rebellious…whatever the subject, the songs are memorable and evoke strong emotions and leave a record of the time.
Social commentary: popular songs document significant current affairs and issues are popular and can form the basis for discussions and projects.
Emotional intelligence and self-awareness: learners often identify strongly with certain songs. Exploring why can lead to a better understanding of ourselves and others.
Songs are fun and generate activities that are naturally collaborative. Some learners might respond better to song-based learning activities than more traditional ones.
Christmas, the most well-known event in the Christian religious calendar, is all about giving. It’s the time of year when people pause and reflect on what they can do for others. Friends and family get together and exchange gifts and cards. We think of others all year round of course, but Christmas, like the festivals of other religions, is a special time.
Now, if you’ve read our first Popplet Christmas article, which was more about getting than giving, you’ll certainly appreciate this second set of Popplet Yuletide activities, where we focus on what is for many, the true spirit of Christmas.
Do you believe in Santa Claus? A rather rotund, distinguished gentleman with white hair and a big white beard who favors red suits with white fur trimmings? One of the world’s largest employers of elves, who rides a sleigh driven by celebrity reindeer, and only has to work one night a year. He also goes by multiple pseudonyms: Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Papá Noel, or just plain old Santa for short. No? Best you take a close look at this Santa Claus profile popplet.
Popplets can be found anywhere on the planet. We have proof: when Popplet has issues (everyone has issues sometimes), we are quickly able to resolve them because Popplet people let us know about them in multiple languages. Popplet’s ubiquitousness is known to us for other more positive reasons of course, one of which is Popplet’s strong presence on the internet and social media.
A quick Google search will reveal the wealth of Popplet articles and images published every day. Popplets can also be found on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. For a constant stream of great Popplet ideas, however, we suggest you check out Popplet on Twitter.
Educators and students of all disciplines and every level use Twitter. Writers, artists, and other creatives use Twitter. Entrepreneurs, business people, and other professionals use Twitter. In fact, there really is no way to define a Twitter user – people from every walk of life use Twitter for different things. What’s important to us, is that a great many people use Twitter to publish their Popplet work.
Of course, we keep a close eye on Twitter, but sometimes we are so impressed by what we see, that a simple retweet doesn’t do a Popplet idea justice. So we thought we’d bring some of the best of Popplet Twitter to you.
We have all done it. Spent precious time creating a magnificent piece of Popplet wizardry on the iPad, or quickly saved a few important ideas on the Popplet iPhone app only to later discover, while sitting down to take a look at our popplets on the computer, that our hard work has gone! Breathe! We check our iOS devices, and there it is. Question is: Why can’t I see my Popplet online?
We have been receiving a lot of questions about using Popplet on iOS devices recently – not at all surprising since most of us access Popplet on the iPad. So, we thought we’d publish a series of short tutorials to clarify a few things.
One question that has come up recently is: What’s the difference between all the tabs I can see when I open Popplet on my iPad, iPhone, or iPod? Let’s take a look, shall we?
Popplet is a mind-mapping application and graphic organizer that helps students think and learn visually. With Popplet learners can capture facts, thoughts, ideas in different ways and immediately connect and visualize the relationships between them.
Popular with teachers and students, Popplet frequently makes an appearance in the ten favorite classroom apps lists that educators share on social media with their colleagues and fellows. Why does Popplet make it into the top ten EdTech apps so often?
Fall may fast be approaching in more northern parts, but in the Popplet world, Spring has definitely arrived. In classrooms all over the globe, with blatant disregard for month and season, Popplet users old and new continue to impress with their unbounded creativity.
Fortunately, the Popplet community are a generous bunch, and we have harvested the fruits of their labors and gathered them all together for a feast!
“Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Teacher, Coach, Learner, Catalyst, Collaborator, Creator, Contributor, EdTecher, DIYer, Tinkerer, Golfer, Exerciser, Gardener”…. and if that weren’t enough, there’s a whole lot more to dynamic educator and Popplet aficionado Craig Badura.
We started to get to know Craig from his quality Twitter posts. However, when he commented one day that there was nothing that you couldn’t do with Popplet, we knew we had to speak to this man! Here’s what he had to say.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I am the K-12 Integration Specialist for Aurora Public Schools in Aurora, Nebraska. Prior to my current position, I taught Social Studies for eleven years. In addition to my duties as our Integration Specialist, I coach boys golf.