Padlet and Thinglink

Check out this great example of combining Thinglink and Padlet to share student work!  Angie McCulloch is a sixth grade teacher at Cupertino Middle and had her students curate articles, pictures, videos, and information about Endangered Panthers.  Once students had enough information they worked in pairs to create their Thinglink.  Their final step is to embed their Thinglink onto a class Padlet wall.  Click the image below to see these great projects!

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Angie and her students also use Padlet with the stories they are reading in class.  Students are asked to post claims and examples/evidence of their opinion on the authors message.  This way students can see what their classmates are thinking and frame their class discussion based on various claims they read from the Padlet wall.

Talk about #eduawesome!

First Four Presidents – iPad Edition

Last week we showed how to create an infographic with Google Drawing, which works great on Chromebooks, Laptops, and Desktops.  If you liked the idea and have students using iPads, consider having your students do an AppSmash with Pic Collage and Thinglink.

You may already know from my previous post on Pic Collage that I love this app, yes I had to make that red!  It is free, no accounts are needed, pictures are sent to the camera roll, and you have the choice to make your background mustaches.  Does it get any better?

Here was my workflow for this project on the iPad:

1.  Find pictures of the first four presidents via Google Images.  Head over to and search for “George Washington” select “Search Tools” and I recommend you select either “labeled for reuse” or “labeled for noncommercial (meaning you won’t make money off of it) reuse.”  When you find images you like save them to the camera roll.

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2.  Create a new Pic Collage.  Within Pic Collage you can create a picture layout, and change the background image.  You can add pictures, video, text, and stickers.  Watch out for in app purchases…

3.  Create a collage using those images.  Once your collage is done export your image to the camera roll by selecting the icon in the bottom right and under “More Actions” you will find “Save to Library”

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4.  Start creating your ThingLink.   When you open the ThingLink app you will be asked to choose an image from your camera roll, so go ahead and select that beautiful Pic Collage you just created.  You can add Media, which would be anything from your camera roll or any YouTube video.  You can also add text, url, and twitter handles.

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Click to view ThingLink

I recommend creating a classroom ThingLink account that all of your students can access via their iPads.  You can make your ThingLink “unlisted” which will only allow users with the direct link to view it.


Have a Party with Your Photos

“Pics + Words + Stickers = A Party with Your Photos” is how Pic Collage describes this FREE APP on their website.  This is one of my favorite apps right now!  I have been talking about it every time I meet with teachers.  Check out some of the examples I have seen created.  Common Core aligned, of course!

K.MD.1: Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight.

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3.NF.3d: Recognize that comparisons of fractions are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole.  **This standard is going to be HUGE to help students better understand fractions!

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4.OA.5:   Generate a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule.

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PicCollage can be used in all subjects.  Just make sure kids – or adults – don’t spend their whole time choosing a background.

Social Studies: Identify certain various regions of any given state.  Pictures of artifacts from ancient civilizations.  Collection of important members to a specific time period. 

Science: Identify parts of a plant.  Photograph stages of a lab.  Different forms of rocks.

Physical Fitness: Identify proper skill and form for various activities.

Let us know your fantastic ideas in the comment section.

An Error Message?!

I want everyone to know that Google Forms has pushed out their data validations with text response questions, and it is fantastic!  In “Google Forms Part One” we talked about using forms as a Digital Turn-In Bin.  As promised here is part two, where we will address how you can use data validation in Forms.  Data validation will help you get the responses you really want from a Google Form.  If the kid response does not fit the required field you set, they will get an error message.  To get started, create a Google Form and select “Text” as your Question Type.

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You will see “Data validation” right below the “Their answer” box.  Right now there are only three types of data validations in Google Forms “Number,” “Text,” and “Regular Expression.”  Lets take a look at all three.


Numbers – think about all the possibilities!  I remember doing Google Forms in my math classroom and getting frustrated when I would ask for a numerical answer and my kiddos would respond with “five” instead of 5.  I’d then need to run a “replace this with that” in forms.  Now you can run a validation that will give kids an error message if they don’t fit within that required range, meaning they cannot spell out the number.

Text – all I need to say is EMAILS!  I always did a Google Form at my Back to School Night to get all of my parent emails and add them to my weekly email blast.  With this requirement you cannot just type in @gmail it will make you fully type in  Now that isn’t to say  people will not misspell their email, but hey it is a start!  URL will require the response to have http:// www blah blah .com or .edu and so on.  This is great for collecting Google Doc links, Educreation Links and really any link.

Regular expression – could be used as a formative assessment check in.  You can type in the correct answer and use “matches.”  Then have students take the Google Form and if they type in the wrong answer they are prompted to go back and try again.  Can also use this if you are flipping your classroom.  You can ask questions about whatever video or article students were asked to do for homework.  Then students fill in the Google Form as a way for you to know who really is prepared.

Got more ideas on how to use this?  Let us know in the comment section.

Digital Turn-In Bin

Do you have a student turn-in bin?  Start to think about using Google Forms as your new Digital Turn-In Bin.

Google Form

Google Forms are an amazing way to collect data or information.  Teachers use forms to

  • Collect parent information
  • Create student assessments
  • Self assessments
  • Rubric checklists
  • Respond to lit circle questions
  • Sign up for office hours
  • Reading logs
  • Student surveys
  • Peer edit responses – this way you can see what the students are writing
  • Self reflection
  • And on and on and on…

When you log into your Google Drive account and hit the Red Create button select Forms.

Google Form

It will immediately prompt you to choose a template and name your document.  Then you can start creating questions you want your students to answer.  For the “Digital Turn-In Form” I would recommend asking their first and last name, period or subject, then offer a place for them to paste their link.  Really no need for any other questions.  The link students paste can be a Google Doc, a Website, a Blog Post, an Educreation Video, or anything you are doing in your classroom that offers a unique link.  After students submit their form you have a nice spreadsheet with links right next to the students name and period.

Stay tuned for Google Forms Part 2 next Thursday!

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Global Read Aloud

Creating a global classroom is a hot topic.  Teachers are trying to find ways in which their  students can collaborate across state lines, and even country lines.

Valerie Cypert is a Language Arts teacher over at Miller Middle School and has participated in a Global Read Aloud with  classrooms in New York and British Columbia.  Her students have been communicating via Skype and Google on the book “Out of my Mind” by Sharon Draper.

Students are experiencing celebrity readers in their classrooms – their teachers and administrators.  One class was lucky enough to have Dr. Gudalewicz visit!

Superintendent Dr. Gudalewicz

To keep up with their experiences with Global Read Aloud, follow the students blogs, and learn more check out Ms Cyperts Blog:

Interested in doing Global Read Aloud with your classroom?  Check out this wiki:

Next steps for Ms Cypert’s students is to continue with Global Read Aloud with local Elementary school students.  Talk about awesome!