Outer Space 2: Popplet, The Planets, The Solar System, and Beyond

Welcome to the second part of Popplet’s brave mission to boldly go where no app has gone before:  to discover as much about Space, the Universe, and Everything as we can. Join us, and learn from those enlightened beings already engaging Popplet in space research; illuminating the answers to the eternal questions of the eons, opening the minds of the curious to the infinite possibilities of what lies beyond their own world.

What do we know? Not a lot in the grand scheme of things, despite that grand opening! In saying that, what humans have discovered so far about outer space is truly fascinating, utterly compelling and we just have to know more. That is why educators are including Astronomy in their curriculums – the truth really is out there! So let’s go look for it.

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Outer Space: 1. Moon Popplets

Is there life on Mars? Do aliens exist? Where did we come from? How big is the Universe?… an infinite number of questions. The questions which scientists, philosophers, theologians, writers and possibly every sentient earthbound creature that ever looked upwards has been seeking answers to since the beginning of time. Popplet doesn’t have any answers, but it can help knowledge hungry learners to solve some of these Universal mysteries.

With futuristic hi-tech features, Popplet boldly goes where no app has gone before, allowing its users to create star maps, document planetary facts, and study stellar phenomena. All the while encouraging them to think big – Universe big!

There’s a lot of light years to cover, so let’s get started by setting our sights close to home on our planet’s nearest celestial neighbor: The Moon. We know it well, we’ve even visited, although admittedly not for a while; moon travel doesn’t come cheap!

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11 Ideas For Using Popplet In The History Classroom

Mapping the events of the past is an investigative process linking people, places, and other significant information to moments and periods in time. In an ideal climate, historians seek the truth by shining a light back across the years and show us what they see. It is a constant, continuous process that helps us understand who we are. History, like the sciences and the arts, is an indispensable and natural part of anyone’s education. It’s where children learn about traditions and cultural differences and gain an understanding of why our world is how it is, what their place in it is, and where they want to go.

Popplet has features that make it especially helpful in the History classroom. The addition of text, images, and video; connections and color coding; collaboration and presentation features; all combine to make Popplet a first rate tool for recording and presenting historical facts. We have put together a few examples from History educators and students that demonstrate how they are finding Popplet useful in their classrooms.

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Two Minute Tutorial: Popplet Linker

Popplet offers a creative and almost limitless canvas for ideas and information. Sometimes though, it’s just not productive to all that much information displayed together in the same place. In fact, the same could be said about most other things, which is why we have files, and more files – to keep things nice and tidy! Well, Popplet doesn’t have files, instead, it offers an efficient, visual solution for storing and connecting Popplet work – we call it Popplet Linker.

With Popplet Linker, popplet boards of any size and complexity can be effortlessly linked and added to other popplets as popples. The two main ways people use Popplet Linker are:

  1. To organize popplet work: think visual files, when you need to keep stuff together and keep your work ship-shape – as in the popplet above.
  2. To create links to popplets and add these to other popplets, saving space and creating a more enhanced visual, with the the option to add more information: think multidimensional.

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How To Find Inspirational Popplet Ideas

Popplet is a mind-mapping graphic organizer which can be used to visualize and expand pretty much anything you can think of: a business plan, a class activity, a math project,  a map of the stars…We are fairly certain at this point that there is little that exists which cannot be captured, organized and made more presentable by displaying it on a Popplet board.

A bold claim, but we have we proof! Thanks to the Popplet community, who constantly share their thoughts, work, and creations with the world. So, if you have an idea and are looking for some help with it, or if you are searching for an idea, we hope you’ll find plenty of inspiration in the places below.

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10 Ways To Use Popplet In The Math Class

We have had a number of requests recently from the Popplet community for more math work. It was even suggested that our most current blog posts displayed a literary/language bias. We did the math, and the results spoke for themselves – time to balance this content equation we think.

So, using a string of examples, we will now set out to prove that Popplet is a popular and effective tool in the math class. We will even show our working!

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Popplet ESL Activities: Vocabulary Building (2)

Popplet is a mind-mapping app, which offers a limitless canvas that lets users capture ideas then organize and connect them in a multitude of ways. It’s no surprise that vocabulary building and Popplet are such a good fit. A language might consist of millions of words – a daunting prospect for the language learner. Fortunately, getting to know each and every word is not how vocabulary building works. The key to understanding a lexicon is to navigate its vastness through its connections. Popplet is the perfect tool for this.

In our previous article, we introduced some ways to teach language learners vocabulary by employing Popplet’s user-friendly features. We hope we gave some indication of Popplet’s potential as an adaptable, effective application for the ESL classroom. Next, we are going to examine more vocabulary building strategies by focussing on:

Let’s begin with the words that every English language student loves to hate: phrasal verbs!

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Popplet ESL Activities: Vocabulary Building (1)

English teachers know what words are. Of course, we do! If we don’t, then we might as well all pack up and go home. We might need to read up on our grammar from time to time, but words – we are good with words. In fact, everybody over a certain age knows what words are, so as ESL educators, we should probably know a little more than the average. Consider this question, however: “How many words does an English Language Learner (ELL) need to know to achieve Proficiency Level?”.  The answer is not so straightforward, and English teachers know why.

Does knowing the plural of a word count as one word or two? Should we count the comparative forms of adjectives or the various verb tense inflections as separate words? Well, yes we could, but language experts and those who teach and study English rarely do when answering questions like the one above. They understand that a lexicon is a fluid, dense, organic network, made up of a world of connections. Embracing this complexity and this connectedness is the key to success in vocabulary building.

The mind-mapping application Popplet, a user-friendly graphic organizer, has a set of powerful features: text, images, video, connections, URLs, formatting, and collaboration. All of these, combined with an infinite, multi-dimensional canvas make it a formidable tool for exploring vocabulary in the English classroom.

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Making The Most of Books With Popplet

As the digital classroom becomes an everyday reality, Popplet is proud to be part of the Education Technology progression. Bringing together ideas and information from many sources, through Popplet’s intuitive but powerful features: text, images, videos, colors, and combining this with the capacity to collaborate, all adds up to an enhanced visual learning experience, much favored by educators of all disciplines.

Popplet is already highly thought of in the literacy classroom: a workhorse in reading and writing activities, Popplet is a big fan of books. Or more correctly, educators often employ Popplet to open and excite the minds of young learners to the life-long rewards of becoming active book readers. For the teacher, this carries with it the added benefit of achieving certain Common Core Standards in the process.

Popplet’s strong community of learners, educators and librarians do great work with books. Let’s take a look a closer look at some of what they are doing with books and Popplet.

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Popplet ESL Activities: Grammar

Few areas have produced more debate in the field of English language learning than that of grammar instruction. What most language teachers agree on is that at some point language learners fare far better if they develop a firm grasp of the working rules that govern the use of the English language.

Where language professionals might differ is in “how” to teach grammar. Traditional methods initially used to teach Latin and Greek, consisted of learning grammar tables and rules by rote, and included a lot of painful repetition, which students rarely remember fondly. As for their effectiveness, since 17th & 18th-century learners were never expected to actually speak these ancient languages, it’s hard to say. Most would certainly remember verb conjugations for the rest of their lives!

With the popularity of modern languages such as English and the possibility of actually being able to speak the language being learned, methods gradually changed, albeit surprisingly slowly. Nowadays, a more communicative approach is favored in most language learning classrooms, and the emphasis on a precise knowledge of grammar is much more relaxed.

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