The Cornerstone second graders started their morning in the AT&T Classroom by drafting a written reflection in response to the story read at morning Chapel. The students posted their written reflections to a class Padlet wall. Padlet is a free web-based tool that functions as a virtual wall or bulletin board where people can exchange thoughts on a common topic. Posts to a Padlet wall can encompass different types of media including text, images, and videos. This morning Mrs. McFeaters posted a reflection prompt on the class Padlet wall and bookmarked the Padlet wall’s URL in the class’s Symbaloo. The second graders accessed the Padlet wall through their Symbaloo and then each drafted their written reply to the prompt. After students finished writing, they came back together as a class to view and share their posts.
Mrs. McFeaters also created a second Padlet wall that the children used for an online class literature discussion in which they replied to a question prompt posted by Mrs. McFeaters asking students to predict what might happen next in the story The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
The collaborative nature of a Padlet wall provides a rich opportunity for writing instruction. Because students know their work will be shared, they tend to be more motivated as they approach their writing and they also become more aware of being accountable for the content and the quality of their work. The tool also helps to strengthen the class as a learning community as students learn more about each other’s ideas, interests, etc., as they read their classmates’ posts.
The second graders also had their first coding lesson this morning working with two iOS apps that use a game-like format to introduce young children to the basics of computer programming. The students started with Daisy the Dinosaur, an iOS app that engages children in learning to combine and sequence drag-and-drop steps to make the dinosaur move, jump, shrink and grow.
Building from their work with Daisy, the students were also introduced to Scratch Jr, a free iOS app that utilizes a visual block language very similar to the Daisy interface. Scratch Jr was developed by the MIT Media Lab specifically for children ages 5 and over to provide opportunities for young children to express themselves creatively by building their own games and designing animations and interactive stories.