Free Apps in a Snap: Popplet

Welcome to my very first installment of Free Apps in a Snap!

Today I’m sharing how I’ve used the free app Popplet Lite in my classroom.  I won’t always write a new blog post for every app I share on my Facebook page with this series.  For some of them, I’ll link back to old blog posts or even post just the image itself on my Facebook page.  My goal is to give you quick snapshots and examples of new apps you may want to try in your classroom (without overwhelming you)!  If you haven’t already, be sure to like my Facebook page so you don’t miss any of my posts.  

Popplet allows students to map out their thinking and create visual graphic organizers.  I’ve used it across multiple subject areas and grade levels.  It’s so user-friendly that even a kindergartener could use it with minimal assistance.  

In reading, we’ve used Popplet for various skills such as sequencing, retelling, story elements, cause/effect, and vocabulary.  In the picture below, my second graders are creating Popplets to retell the main events in their stories.  They took pictures of pages in their books using their iPad cameras and then wrote short blurbs underneath each picture.

Here’s an example of a vocabulary map my students created using Popplet.  They would find a picture of their vocabulary words either from a book or the internet and insert it along with the definition, part of speech, and the word used in a sentence.

Popplet can be very helpful with brainstorming or prewriting activities.  Here’s an example of how we used Popplet to describe a special object from home before writing about it.

Popplet can also be used to help visualize tricky math concepts.  Below, you can see how my students created a Popplet to represent a number in standard, expanded, and word form as well as with base 10 blocks. 

The free version of Popplet only lets you create one Popplet at a time, which was always fine for us since I would have my students save their Popplets to their camera roll to send to me.     

I will be posting about another free app on Sunday night, so be sure to like my Facebook page so you don’t miss it!

Kick-start Your School Year with QR Codes: Lots of Freebies!

I apologize for the long absence, teacher friends!  I’ve been busy soaking up every precious moment with my sweet baby boy, born this winter.:)
I will not be returning to the classroom this year, but I have lots of fun stuff planned to share with you.  I’m very excited to announce a new triweekly series happening on my Facebook page called Free Apps in a Snap. 
I know many people are too busy to read long blog posts, especially during this hectic back-to-school season, so I thought it would be helpful to just give you quick little snapshots of new apps to try in your classroom.  Three times a week I will share some brief highlights and photos of apps I’ve used in my second and fourth grade classrooms.  If you haven’t already liked my Facebook page, be sure to hop on over there so you don’t miss any of my posts.  

Now, for the freebies…  
Kick-start Your School Year With QR Codes: Lots of ideas and freebies to engage your students with QR codes at back-to-school
I whipped up a new back to school Scan the Room activity that reviews several important ELA skills: synonyms, antonyms, contractions, parts of speech, and sentence editing.  All you have to do is print the cards and tape/hang them around your classroom.  Your students will roam around the room answering the questions and can check their work by scanning the QR codes.
Another freebie I just posted is this little pack of QR codes that link to brain break videos.  If you plan on using brain breaks, this is a great way to introduce them to your students.  The “Following Directions” video is especially good for back-to-school!
If you’re looking for an icebreaker activity that gets your students talking to one another, this getting-to-know-you QR code cube is perfect.  Students roll the cube and scan the QR codes to reveal questions to ask their partner. 
These sunglasses have been a hit every year with my second and fourth graders because they love being able to move around the room while solving math problems.  
Click HERE for my double-digit addition and subtraction with regrouping freebie for primary (shown above) and HERE for my rounding freebie for the upper grades.

QR code scavenger hunts have always been my most-requested math activity by my students, probably because they are so fun that they don’t realize they’re actually learning.  
Click HERE for the base 10 block freebie (shown above) for primary and HERE for my types of lines and angles freebie for the bigger kids (shown below).
The “QR Codes” tab at the top of my blog has even more freebies and ideas for engaging your students with QR codes throughout the school year, so be sure to check it out.

I hope you have a great start to your school year!:)

Thanks to Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, Ashley Hughes, and I Teach, What's Your Superpower for the cute graphics in this post!