Popplet is a mind map creating app that is quite simple to use. I found that with the age of children in my class (4-5 year-olds), they still needed some facilitation as the buttons are quite small and close together. They are also still not quite used to the double-tap required to begin with the first popple. Otherwise, everything is very straightforward. I am also still only using the lite version of the app, but now after some experimentation with the kids, will definitely purchase the full version. I discovered it quite late in the school year otherwise I would've used it much more frequently for a variety of planning and brainstorming activities. To learn more about this app, click on the image to go to the website for Popplet, and here for a link to Popplet in iTunes

Popplet for Math:
The first way I used Popplet with the kids was to create a number line (ordering numbers) and practice some counting/one-to-one correspondence. It is that time of year for review, review and more review so any new ways I could find to practice number work, I used! I differentiated by giving the children options with which number they could start their number line with. Some started with higher numbers, some started with smaller numbers. Either way, they were working within their learning abilities. I challenged some children to do their number lines backwards as well as an extension.

Popplet for Literacy:

I always get awesome ideas from the amazing teachers I follow on Twitter. In this particular instance, the idea was to have the children write a letter to the following year's teacher and tell him or her a little about themselves. Because writing an entire letter is a little too much writing for a K1 student (especially with the amount of things they want to tell their new teacher!), I decided Popplet may be a good place to break down this information and have them write in short phrases as they are used to doing. I had them take pictures of themselves, things they were good at and/or things they enjoyed doing to create this mind map. Then they used the text feature to type in what each picture was about. I can easily see this as an activity to be used at the beginning of a school year as well, as a "getting to know you" sort of task.
Other ways I would probably use Popplet in my class:
  • Phonics: using clip art to give examples of words that begin/end with a certain sound
  • Planning a story
  • Reflection, maybe within a unit of inquiry (What I see, what I am wondering, how will I find out or what I have learned)
  • And many many more!

Parents can you see this app being useful at home or on holidays to document events or have your children observe something a little more closely?

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