For some educators, the digital technologies now standard in our classrooms are not new; they were a part of their primary or higher education. There are many others, however, who have benefitted from the rich experience of the transition to the digital paradigm; working through and shaping the changes that technologies such as Popplet have been making on teaching methods and on the development of learners. Monica Evon is one of those educators who embraced the change and is rewarded daily with the growth she sees in her students.
Monica caught our eye recently when she shared some impressive images of her class hard at work with Popplet. She has kindly agreed to share her experience with us.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a fourth-grade teacher from Nebraska. I teach at Bellevue Elementary. My district is Bellevue Public Schools and I am part of Bellevue Public Schools iPadAcademy. This is my thirty-second year in the education profession. I have taught special education, first, second, third, and fourth grade and I was an elementary counselor for six years. I am passionate about my students, teaching, and learning! I love using technology to enhance learning opportunities. I am a 1:1 iPad classroom.
Growing up my dad was in the military, so we traveled the world. I attended five different elementary schools. My husband Steve and I have two grown boys. We love to travel and two of our passions are snorkeling and hiking in the mountains. My favorite quote:
“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” John Dewey
What do you love about your work?
It’s all about our students, who count on us each day to make a positive difference in their lives. I love watching students develop a passion and excitement for learning. Watching our students finally understand a concept after persevering and believing in themselves is what makes the magic of learning happen.
How does technology impact on your work?
As we all know, technology is a powerful teaching tool. As educators, we know that all the students in our classroom learn differently, and they have different academic needs. Digital technology provides teachers the ability and opportunity to enhance, enrich, and remediate the curriculum. When students have the ability to show and explain their learning, it becomes relevant. It is learning at its BEST!
How do you use Popplet? In what situations? Do you have a favorite use?
We use Popplet weekly. You can read about how we used Popplet and other apps for these activities on my blog. Our fourth-grade team uses it for their Word Study when using Words Their Way. Popplet can be used in so many ways during Guided Reading. My fourth graders use it for their Concept Map for the weekly reading selection. Students are able to show their learning in different and creative ways using Popplet. In Popplet students create word maps of each spelling pattern. They can also write the definition and part of speech to each word. Popplet is a great app for students to visually learn their word patterns.
I used Popplet for this Back to School activity, which is a great way to start the new academic year:
I also use Popplet as part of our Guided Reading Choice Board:
What do your students like the most about Popplet? How do they react when told they are going to use Popplet?
Popplet is an awesome mind map for students to use in all curricular areas. It is easy for all grade-level students to use. They love that they can add pictures and media to the popplet they create. Having the ability to go back throughout the week to add to their popplet is a great feature. It’s a great app to organize thoughts and ideas.
Are there any other apps you like to use along with Popplet? (Appsmashing!) Or that you think compliment Popplet
My students add each popplet they create to their Seesaw portfolio, the iPad Camera Roll, and they sometimes add popplets to ThingLink.
What are your student’s favorite classroom apps? What are yours?
I have so many apps that I love that enhance and enrich the curriculum. Our district is using Schoology as our Learning Management System. Some of my favorite apps are: Book Creator, Seesaw, Notability, Explain Everything, Stick Around, and Popplet. Some of my students’ favorites are Seesaw, Prodigy, ChatterPix, Toontastic, TeleStory, ScratchJr, and code.org
School’s just started so I’m not sure about students from this year!
Thank you very much for sharing with us Monica. Have an enjoyable and productive teaching year!
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