Making Thinking Visible with the Shadow Puppet App in K-2

A couple of months ago, I was asked to present to Kindergarten teachers about how to use the Shadow Puppet EDU app for iPad and iPhone, and how students can use this tool to make their thinking visible in an interactive, engaging and intuitive way.

The Shadow Puppet app allows students to create videos, presentations or slideshows by using photos and video clips from your device’s camera roll, photo stream, or albums. They can add music and narration to their content, overlay text and icons, and share and export their creations to multiple social media platforms with ease. You can use up to 100 items and record for up to 30 minutes.

Something to think about:

  • The Shadow Puppet app only allows you to record your entire narration at one time.
  • You can pause and undo, but if you want to fix a mistake AFTER recording, you must delete the entire narration and start over.

The teachers brought their iPads to the session in order to try the app out for themselves, and after I went through the app step-by-step by using the images on my own iPad, they created presentations of their own. They enjoyed how user-friendly the app is, and we discussed how best to introduce the app to students and the many potential uses for Shadow Puppet.

Here is a link to a presentation about Shadow Puppet I created using Google Slides and Slides Carnival (a website dedicated to providing users with fun, free templates for Google Slides).

Screenshot 2015-07-08 02.22.46

Padlet in the Classroom

Our class has been using Padlet in order to help us to communicate our mathematical thinking.  Padlet is a free, online resource that is essentially a wall.  You may build a wall for virtually any subject area (I use it primarily for Math), and, most importantly, the students love to use it.  My tutorial was quick; they picked it up even quicker.  Here is an example of how we have used Padlet in class:

The students would get into small groups (or they could choose to work independently) and work within the unique Padlet link I sent to them via their Gmail accounts. Some chose laptops as their device of choice, others preferred iPads. The parameters for the assignment was on the Padlet wall, and I also projected the wall on our SmartBoard so that the students could see it on a larger surface. I set it up so that I had control of the content being posted, and before a student’s “post-it” would appear on the Padlet wall, I had to approve it first. However, this is an optional practice, and in the future I may simply allow the students to submit their posts without approval. If a student posts something outside of class expectations, in my opinion, this is an important opportunity for digital citizenship instruction.
Here is a You Tube video about various ways one can use Padlet – how would you use it?