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Sharing Thinking Through Padlet (Our look at Fractions)

For some time now I have been a blog post consumer.  Reading a number of colleagues blog posts as they are sent to my email, commenting on occasion, but mostly just absorbing.  Starting to blog has always been one of those things I wanted to do.  After listening to the @gcouros keynote at TLDW Peel a few summers ago I started on the Twitter journey, but needed that push, that sense of peer pressure to start blogging. 🙂  So when @Tina_Zita put out the tweet for this blog hop with my name attached, that was the peer pressure push that has now started my blogging journey (be kind 🙂 ).

When the idea of Technology and Math for a post came up, it is something that I am comfortable with separately but have been struggling to combine the two in a meaningful way.  Let me try to explain.

A tool I have been using for sometime in other subjects is Padlet.  Padlet is an online bulletin board application that allows students to all contribute ideas, photos etc. at once in real time. So to demonstrate how I have used this in Math, I thought I would pick my most recent use of the site (not the most polished, but some of the best learning is not the most polished).

We have been developing our knowledge and understand of fractions through the use of our co-constructed fraction strips.  With these strips the students have been comparing and ordering fractions.  For this first activity we were starting to talk about equivalency.  The students with their math partners were to represent all the ways that they could create a whole. www.padlet.com/mrwigmore/coverup   This led to a discussion and some labelling of our new equivalent fraction wholes.  This also allowed me to go to those pairs who looked like they were struggling and have that mini-lesson/discussion to explore their thinking a little further.

Another activity we did came from Marian Smalls ‘Eyes on Math’ where we were looking at all the related fractions in a photo (see attached Padlet wall for photo).  Students had the photo and could post their thoughts on to the board, while seeing their classmates thinking.  This then created one page where our larger whole class discussion could begin.  It also allowed me a place to post a fraction or 2 that got students talking and reasoning. www.padlet.com/mrwigmore/whichfractions

Both of these examples allowed the Math partners to discuss their thinking, work through the problem and post their thinking for the class to see in an engaging way (There’s something about seeing your work pop up on the screen in real time).  This allows all students to have a voice in the discussion.  The work that is posted on the wall will be used to further discussion after all students have had a chance to contribute.  The learning does not stop there!  Padlet allows you to open the site up to allow input from your students at home, your Twitter followers, parents etc..  This opens up a world of possibilities when thinking about sharing and growing our Math thinking.  The documentation side of it is nice too.

Is there a place for Padlet in the Math class or are good old sticky notes the way to go?

Pick a Blog to jump to next! Happy Reading! 

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12 thoughts on “Sharing Thinking Through Padlet (Our look at Fractions)

  1. Congratulations on your first post Jay and I apologize for the peer pressure. Padlet seems to sneak it’s way into many of my lessons. I like how you said: ‘There’s something about seeing your work pop up on the screen in real time.’ I think that alone is a great reason to bring padlet into the math dialogue but also your point of taking that one time classroom conversation to new audiences, to further depths. The possibility of going back, revisiting, rearranging items can have so many benefits to extending the dialogue.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Jay,

    I bet it has been quite the journey from consumer to now contributer. I too enjoy using padlet for a variety of different reasons and never quite though of applying it to Math as you have here. Certainly does open my mind to the possibilities that it bring beyond my current use.

    Good old stickies are fun too…combine them with the Post-it app and you will find yourself blending the #oldschool with #21stcentury

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  3. Welcome to the blogging world. Great first piece, can’t wait to hear more. Yes I think that there is a place for any tool. What your tool has done is enabled the students to engage with their math strategies in a meaningful way. Yes this could have been done with a sticky but the bonus now is that you can post their thinking and have others comment. Their thinking can now be adding to a wider audience with more conjectures and ideas about the thinking in the classroom. This is what tech/padlet has done for your math class. Again happy blogging and can’t wait to read more.

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    1. Jonathan,
      Thanks for replying, sorry for the long pause before my reply. It is the access to a greater audience that I think is the most valuable with this tool. It allows others to jump into the conversation and bring another viewpoint that myself and my students might not have thought of. Thank you for your Twitter questions, that take our Math discussions further.

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  4. Welcome to blogging and congrats! I have a blog and I shamefully have not been using it much this year I’m hoping this event gets me back into it.

    What a GREAT way to use padlet. So simple, device neutral and a great way to document. My 3’s are sticky note lovers but I bet they would get a kick out of using padlet this way.

    What grade do you teach Jay?

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    1. Teaching grade 4 this year. It’s a tool that my kids grasped quickly and now it’s a part of our routine. We’ve incorporated it into any subject where we are look to pool ideas to reflect later, or discuss with a wider audience. Thanks for reading.

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  5. I too am new to the blogosphere, though I don’t call myself a “blogger” per se. I just don’t like the word; sounds too much like “booger”.

    I often use Padlet in the classroom; it’s a fantastic brainstorming tool. I’ve recently used it in the classroom as a way to collect student responses to a Math questions like so http://padlet.com/tim_boudreau/q9ogc4vteosv

    I often set new posts to “moderate” so I can see student responses as they come in, but they don’t necessarily see them until they are done.

    Keep on blogging, though don’t call yourself a blogger (unless you often wear green).

    I really hope my son Charlie gets in your class when he reaches Grade 4, I think he’d do really well with your teaching style.

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    1. Tim,

      Thanks for the reply! Sorry for the long response time. Thanks for your Padlet wall example. I might just have to borrow that video when we get to volume. I’ll post my grade 4’s thinking too.

      I do like seeing the things you are doing with Charlie at home (his Solar system video). I didn’t get a chance to go find him last week to tell him how much myself and my daughter (4) liked his video. Keep creating!

      A new booger (I mean blogger) 🙂

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