Monday 21 March 2011

Popplet, a new way of thinking

On his blog Box of Tricks José Picardo assured us that "Popplet is a fun and intuitive web application that allows you and your students to create galleries, mind maps and diagrams quickly an incredibly easily. I mean it. Ridiculously easily." So I thought I would put it to the test..

Signing up was extremely straightforward, with immediate access to the account and the chance to launch straight in. Today I used Popplet with Form 4 (14-15 yr olds) as a whole class activity to change holiday activities from the infinitive into the preterite tense, in advance of their Controlled Assessment.

With Form 5, I put 3 bubbles, or Popples, onto the IWB and they worked in groups to prepare vocabulary for each one, before coming together as a class to build a set of vocabulary on Media.

Popplet is very intuitive in its functions, and appealed greatly to the pupils as a revision aid for independent study, as well as a useful class tool for collating ideas and vocabulary.

Wednesday 9 March 2011


Sometimes I am guilty of feeling that if a lesson hasn't taken me a long time to prepare and doesn't involve some sort of ICT, then it couldn't possibly be a good lesson.
Today I wanted to revise some basic vocabulary in our local primary before moving on to a new topic, so I grabbed my bomb and Rhoda as I dashed out the door. GGS pupils will be familiar with both, but this was the first time that I had used either with the primary pupils. We moved the desks to the side of the room and put our chairs in a circle.
I used the bomb (from the Pass the Bomb game) to revise the numbers 1-20 as a starter. If the bomb 'exploded' they had to tell us something about themselves in Spanish. Normally at GGS it is a harsher penalty, either asking someone on a date or mooing like a cow in a neighbouring class, but P6 aren't that used to me and I feared tears!

Pupils then moved to the floor when I brought out Rhoda, my sheet with different coloured squares. Each pupil had a marker and knew which square to aim for depending on the word I said eg. numbers were pink, etc.. The golden rule was that they weren't allowed to change their mind and move their marker. We started with 3 max per square and then cut it down as more pupils were put out. As pupils were disqualified, they then became my judges.

Pupils veered between terrified and thrilled in Pass the Bomb, and they all adored Rhoda. This was a lesson with no preparation and was low tech, yet all were engaged and learning tok place. Do the sums...