I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I have recently tried using Padlet in my classroom, and I love it! Today I’d like to share how I use Padlet as a formative assessment. I am going to talk about character traits with my second graders, but you can use it for virtually any topic at any grade level.
During our read aloud of Charlotte’s Web, we were immersed in a character study as our literary focus. At the end of the book, I wanted a way to check in on students’ understanding of character traits. In the past, I would have used the chart below. Students could write a trait and evidence on a Post-it note and place it in the square with their number.
(Sign available here.)
I liked this system for the most part, and I still use it when I need something fast. However, Post-it notes don’t always stay posted, they get lost easy, and there’s no easy way to store them in a data notebook. I wanted more concrete lasting evidence.
So…. I set up my first Padlet.
To get started, just go to padlet.com, create an account (super fast), and click on “Make a Padlet”. After that, you will see a screen that looks something like the picture below. To name the Padlet, simply type in the title box. I type in directions where it says “description”. This is also when you choose your layout. I have found that the grid format works best, especially when multiple people are typing at once.
Next, you get to choose the background. There are lots of fun ones to choose from. However, for this activity, I download a picture of my own.
I searched “Charlotte’s Web” on Google and downloaded this pic.
Now, you are ready to go. I just copy the link and send it to my students through Google Classroom. Once the students have the Padlet opened, they can double click anywhere and they will
see a box where they can type in their responses.
They type in their name at the top and at least one character trait with evidence in the bottom part of the box. Here is a sample.
When the whole class was finished, I was able to see who had a strong understanding of character traits and who still needed a little more work on this skill. I also had a permanent record of this formative assessment. I just saved the link to my drive. (Most of my data notebook is digital.)
I do not have a set of Chromebooks in my classroom. However, there is an iPad cart in our building that we are allowed to check out. The iPads worked fine for this activity. (There is a free app that you can download, but it still works without it just using the link.)
When it came time for a more formal assessment of character traits, I made a graphic organizer for the students to use.
You can click here to download this organizer.