Popplet: A Seasoned, Trusted, All-Rounder App For The New School Year

Summer vacation in some places is coming to an end, and educators, parents, and students are looking forward to a fresh academic year: new classes, new friends, new subjects. They will also be researching which apps and technology to put in their classrooms, homes and digital backpacks. 

Deciding on which new digital technologies to use or purchase can be daunting because of the vast number of educational apps on the market. However, if you’re looking for a seasoned, tried-and-tested, all-rounder app for all subjects, then keep it simple. Popplet is one of the most versatile and useful tools available to educators and learners and it continues proving itself as the go-to app for any subject:

  • Literacy – reading and writing skills
  • Numeracy – simple and complex activities
  • Science – Chemistry, Physics, Biology…
  • The Environment – pollution, environmental change
  • Technology, Computing, Robotics and Automation
  • History – timelines, historical events and profiles

Literacy
Popplet is powerful in the hands of kindergarteners and early-learners. Their young minds are just beginning to open to the language puzzle as they start making those vital connections between what they see, hear, and say. Activities like Word Families from Kirsten Wideen are a good example of what they can do with Popplet:

Popplet is also good for helping more advanced readers develop critical skills and gain a deeper understanding of texts and characters, as in Erin Flanagan’s excellent Reading Strategies article:

Popplet is equally useful when it comes to writing, allowing authors to plan their work, and even use visual prompts for inspiration. Take a look at Tech Know Parent, Jo Blanin’s Storybuilding activity:

For more examples of how Popplet is helping learners in the literacy class check out some of the other articles on Poppletrocks:

Learning to Read: Popplet in the Reading Classroom
Everyone’s A Writer Now: Popplet in the Writing Class

Numeracy
When it comes to Math class, Popplet is an excellent addition to activities involving very young learners as in the much-used Ways to Make 10 activity, like this example from Kindergarten Teacher, Kara Bunch:

Popplet can also be used to teach and learn more complex mathematical topics such as Polynomials (above) and Geometry:

For more Popplet math examples see 10 Ways To Use Popplet In The Math Class.

Science
The precise number of applications that Popplet has in the field of science has yet to be determined, but we believe the number might be infinite. Popplets have been observed in Physics, Biology, Chemistry and many other areas of scientific investigation. Pore over if you will, this magnificent Chemical Bonding popplet from Fatima Guandique:

Sample more astonishingly good Science popplets in Popplet: The APPliance of Science

The Environment
People of the planet Earth have grown in awareness over the last few decades in realizing that the place where we live, work, and play is an important place. So, the teaching and study of Environmental topics has grown in scope. Take these fine Plastic Pollution Facts popplets for example:

For further insight into Popplet and the environment see Popplets About Environmental Issues

Technology, Computing, Automation and Robotics
The world is changing fast and educators often find themselves at the technological rock face, teaching about and working with cutting-edge technologies every day. Digital competency is already a necessity and the future is no longer quite as certain as it might once have been. But in this brave new world we’re constructing it’s Safety First!:

Want to see more like this? See Popplets About Technology, Computing, Automation and Robotics

History
Popplet has a great many uses for teachers and learners of History. It’s perfect for making timelines and mapping historical events:

Or for creating profiles of influential historical figures:

For more ideas to use in the History classroom check out 11 Ideas For Using Popplet In The History Classroom.

If your particular area of interest hasn’t been featured in this post, don’t worry. Try searching the blog using the search box in the top right-hand corner of the page.

In the highly unlikely event that you don’t find what you are looking for in Poppletrocks, take a look in Public Popplets – if haven’t done so already, you will have to sign up for a free Popplet account to do this, but it’s free and well worth it. Not only do you get access to Public Popplets, Popplet’s amazing open resource, where hundreds of Popplet users generously share their work daily, you also get ten Popplet boards for free.

If by some miracle you still can’t find a popplet about a particular subject, try following and sharing with the Popplet community on Twitter or on Facebook. Or create your own! We look forward to hearing from you.

Popplet Group Subscriptions for Schools, Classes, and Business

Summer break in the United States, Europe, and a whole lot of other places is drawing to a close. Students, teachers, and parents are turning their thoughts towards the fresh academic year and its challenges. And for those who aren’t fortunate enough to be shaking off a summer vacation, or who aren’t involved in education, it’s still a good time to learn about Popplet Group Subscriptions.

Originally created for schools to put Popplet into the hands of as many learners and teachers as possible, Popplet Group Subscriptions are now available to any type of organization.

Here are the basics:

  • Popplet Group subscriptions are open to everyone: schools, colleges, businesses…and make purchasing Popplet much more affordable.
  • The minimum group/class size is 15.
  • Subscriptions offer each individual unlimited popplets for one year.
  • There is a sliding price scale: the more you buy, the less it costs.


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Popplet Helps Teachers Make Better Lessons

Simple, intuitive and effective, the results of using Popplet in the classroom are often immediate and remarkable. Popplet’s ease of use combined with an impressive set of features: text, images, drawing, presentation and real-time collaboration mean that Popplet has applications over a broad range of subjects and classroom activities.

So versatile is Popplet, that its usefulness has attracted educators of all disciplines, from kindergarten teachers to college professors. A true all-rounder, Popplet can be put to work in every part of a lesson:

  • Lesson Planning and Objectives
  • Warm up
  • Presentation/Modeling
  • Practise
  • Checking and Demonstrating learning
  • Homework and Further Learning

Lesson Planning and Objectives
Popplet can work for teachers even before a class begins as an uncomplicated graphic organizer for lesson planning. Add images, text and links. Take notes and make visual connections, always keeping learning goals in sight, as in this EFL lesson plan:

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Popplet ESL Activities: An Introduction to Pronunciation

Popplet is a favorite tool of literacy teachers, especially those who work with younger learners. Reading, writing, spelling, and the other key elements that children need to solve the language puzzle are particularly significant in the early years since this early progress has a universal impact on their development. The methods they use closely resemble some of those employed by language teachers.
consonant-clusters

Phonics, or one of its variants, is the method most used by school teachers to teach children how to read. In English language instruction, we combine phonics and phonetics, along with other linguistic concepts and label this key area of English language tuition, Pronunciation.

First steps with Popplet and Pronunciation – a lesson

  1. A brief presentation about English pronunciation, with constant student feedback.
  2. Students carry out research related to the lesson and create popplets to show their results.
  3. Class discussion.

I like to introduce Popplet and pronunciation at the same time in my classes. There is no increase in difficulty, since, like any good tool, Popplet adds value to the student’s experience. More significantly, visualizing their experiences by creating a Popplet board about what they learn, enhances their learning and leaves them a visual record for revision.

All of your students will know about pronunciation. Some will have seen IPA symbols before, a few might understand them. Others will groan at the prospect a subject that has not been highly regarded these last years and may even resist. The majority, however, will be curious the moment you write Pronunciation on the board, and that is always the best place to begin a class.

Lesson

Explain to the students that they are going to learn about pronunciation, and explain to them why it is important for them to study it, answering any questions that arise.

  • Begin by talking about the different types of English that exist, explain how they vary and why the often used term Standard English may forever be an elusive concept. Be sure to mention which dialect you belong to, or favor.
  • Then, Illustrate with some popular examples:

British vs American English’s legendary “tomahto” /təˈmɑːtəʊ/, “tomayto” /təˈmeɪtoʊ/, or

How the Canadian pronunciation of “about” /əˈbaʊt/, “aboot” tickles their US neighbors

  • Focus on UK Received Pronunciation (RP), the language of the Queen of England, her family, and a few other people in the world. Highlight some of the ways it differs from Scottish English or American English, for example.
  • Amaze your students by explaining that words like car /ka:/. chair /’tʃeə/, and where /’weə/ are maybe not pronounced as they might imagine. If they don’t believe you, provide more examples.
  • Introduce the class to the schwa /ə/, and reveal why this particular sound is so popular with English speakers by modeling the words chocolate /’tʃɒkələt/ and vegetable /’vedʒtəbl/. Introduce sentence stress.
  • Finally, at the risk of overwhelming your students with what they will have come to believe is the entirely illogical nature of the English language, bring up words that contain silent letters such as know /nəʊ/, walk /wɔ:k/ and talk /tɔ:k/.

Popplet Activities & Discussion

  • Research the countries where English is spoken worldwide. How many people speak English as a first language or second language? Contrast the results with other widely spoken languages like Mandarin or Spanish, Create a Popplet containing your results and add appropriate images such as charts or geographical identifiers -flags! Different groups or students could do the different languages.

who-speaks-english

  • Research the countries/places in the world where Engish is the first language or widely spoken. Which countries have the most English speakers? Create a Popplet with your results and add appropriate images.
  • Collate results, displaying the best popplets for the whole class to see, using the results to initiate a class discussion on what English pronunciation might sound like fifty years from now.

If your students can access the internet on their devices in class, they can do this activity there and then. If not, set this as a homework exercise. If set as a group exercise, students can collaborate on their work.

Students will very quickly get the hang of Popplet.if they appear hesitant or have any questions direct them to the slideshow demo, which can be accessed by clicking on try it out on the Popplet home page.  In no time at all ,students will be eagerly creating impressive visuals. Avoid lecturing on the use of Popplet, let the students discover what it can do.

By the end of the lesson, the class will be well versed in the basics of Pronunciation and Popplet creation. They will want to know more.

Popplet is available on the web, and new users receive five popplet boards for when they sign up for a free account.  If you find you need more than five popplet boards, you can simply delete existing ones, or you can sign up for the full version of Popplet at the iTunes store. There is a free version of the iPad app: Popplet Lite, also available from the iTunes Store. School and Class group subscriptions are also available.

If you find this idea useful, or if you are already using Popplet in your ESL classes then please let us know by sharing your ideas with the Popplet community on Twitter, and our Facebook page. To sign up for a free account, visit the Popplet home page.

 

 

Popplet Ideas for ESL Teaching

Popplet is a user-friendly tech tool that is popular with teachers and students of all ages and disciplines.  It is a mind-mapping application for the iPad and the web that lets you capture and organize your ideas. Popplet is versatile, with an easy to use interface and a comfortable level of functionality, but with robust features that are especially suited to learning environments.


With Popplet you can instantly add editable text, links, images, colors and drawings to connectable bubbles called popples, and connect these popples to create visually informative landscapes of information. Teachers and students can collaborate in real time, and finished work can be presented using one of Popplet’s Presentation modes.

Popplet has steadily been gaining traction with ESL educators and language teachers. It’s hands-on, visual nature lets students form connections between facts and ideas in various ways. Dynamic and fun, it has the ability to make even the dryest of grammar points much more palatable – students become a lot more interested in the finer points of the Reported Speech  if they get to make a Popplet about it on their iPads or laptops!

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Popplet Halloween Ideas

Halloween can be about so much more than Trick or Treating. This traditional annual celebration of all things spooky is an opportunity for children to learn. The importance of traditions, history, the differences between fact and fiction and storytelling. They can also study how people from other cultures celebrate their Halloween.

At Popplet we love Halloween. At times like this, we get a good look at how incredibly creative our most avid users are. Check out some of their ideas.

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Top of the Popplets! – August 2016

Good, practical Popplet ideas have been the hallmark of August, and we have chosen the best of the bunch for this month’s roundup of inspiring Popplet ideas. Our favorite August popplets are The Mexican Revolution, Orchestra Instrument Families, Storytelling with Popplet, and Using Emojis. And if none of these popplets grab you, there are a lot more on our Twitter, and Facebook page, and in Public Popplets.

 

Storytelling With Popplet: The Fisherman and his Wife

Storytelling

The very first thing you have to do is click this seesaw link. Done that? – Ok. Now that we’re all on the same page, there really isn’t any need for me to explain just how awesome this storytelling popplet is. The Fisherman and his Wife; created by one of Miss Larnerd’s 2nd-graders breaks down easily into Characters, Setting, and Plot. Add to this mix some very cool drawings (you could try the Popplet Drawing Tool for these) uploaded as images, the text of the story, and last but not least an impressive narrator’s soundtrack – provided by the student of course – and the result is an impressive, creative audiovisual presentation. How much fun is this? Thank you so much for sharing.

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Top of the Popplets! – July 2016

We are forever grateful to the many generous Popplet users who regularly share their work: on Twitter and Facebook, in Public Popplets, and on the many blogs and web pages in a mind-boggling number of different languages. A thorough examination of all of your hard work would take a long, long time, so if your Popplet doesn’t appear here in our monthly roundup of your favorite popplets, don’t be dismayed, please keep sharing, we are sure somebody somewhere in the Popplet community is benefitting. But for now, sit back, and savor July’s offerings.

Do I Need A Citation?

do-i-need-a-citation

Do I Need a Citation? is a very useful decision-making flowchart, which has already been put through its paces a number of times now in the Popplet office. Intellectual property laws, copyright concerns, and just plain good manners mean we need to think carefully about republishing anything we might have picked up from another source. This very handy Popplet, published anonymously in Public Popplets – but with a citation for the information it contains! – is an example of how popplet can be used to create a simple yes/no flowchart which can simplify the trickiest of decisions. Thank you to the anonymous creator for keeping us on the straight and narrow.

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Popplet People: Paul Baez, Educator

From the back of the classroom to the frontline of education management, passionate educator and school principal Paul Baez talks about his work journey, Education Technology and Popplet.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

I have been in education since 1995 and I have learned so much from every experience I have had, being a fourth grade classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, and now Principal. I feel fortunate to have worked in three different Houston area school districts and five different schools. Each experience has pushed me to the next level of leadership and has reinforced my belief that I chose the right career path.

What do you love about your work?

Paul Baez HeadshotI love my role of leading a school of educators at Rees Elementary School, ensuring that we provide a great learning experience for every student. It is a responsibility that I fully embrace. As much as I enjoyed being a fourth grade classroom teacher, I knew twenty years ago that I wanted to have an even greater impact on students and here I am now. Growing up I was that kid in the back of the room that kept quiet and never said anything. Now I can’t stop talking about technology in education. Makes me chuckle to think how much I’ve changed over the years.

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Popplet People: Claire Brown, Kindergarten Teacher

When I tell you that our featured Popplet Person is a Kindergarten teacher, you might be forgiven for rightly jumping to some easy conclusions: a dedicated, devoted, hardworking and supremely motivated individual…and of course busy, so very busy! So busy and hardworking are kindergarten teachers like Claire Brown, that when they choose apps like Popplet for their students to use in the classroom, then those apps have to work as hard as they do!

Cubs Game '08 2 (4)

Claire came to our attention through sharing her student’s Popplet work on Twitter and her very cool blog, where she regularly posts her student’s classroom activities. Both are fine examples of what can be achieved by embracing technology in the classroom.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am in my tenth year of teaching an I’m originally from Lafayette, IN., where I went to Mayflower Mill as an elementary student, and that is where I started my teaching career and where I work now, graduating along the way from Purdue University with a degree in Elementary Education with a Reading Specialist focus. I love going on vacations anywhere there is a beach and the ocean. Continue reading