Using Padlet to Engage and Assess Our Students

As we entered the 2020 – 2021 school year, I was very reflective on how our 2019 – 2020 school year had ended. Being an ESL/Bilingual teacher, I am used to not just teaching my students, but including opportunities of interaction with them and each other. I was not happy with how things ended and knew I had to look into resources in order to make the next year better for my students. This is when I discovered Padlet!

What is Padlet?

Padlet is a digital tool that you can use to collaborate. You can use it in-person or virtually. It is an online post-it board… similar to an online bulletin board. Padlet allowed for my students to interact with each other, even without speaking. As students became familiar with Padlet and interacting with each other, they started coming off of “mute” and the real conversations began again!

How did I use Padlet in my Virtual Classroom?

  • Social Contracts to create social norms and expectations
  • “Getting to Know You” beginning of the year activity
  • Brainstorming opportunities for students
  • Schoolwide Spirit Weeks used with PBIS
  • Vocabulary Word Walls
  • Assessing students with KWL’s
  • Showcasing student work and sharing it with our families
  • Student Shout-Out Board to go along with our “Random Acts of Kindness” activities
  • Staff Shout-Out Board to build a positive climate and culture with our staff virtually
  • Group work
  • Birthday Wall
  • Digital version of the classroom bulletin boards I would have had in the classroom

The 2021 – 2022 School Year:

As students are back in our classrooms, I still plan on utilizing Padlet with my students and their families. As students are still expected to maintain social distancing, Padlet will allow for my students to have those opportunities of interaction with each other. These are the ways that I will continue to use Padlet inside of my classes:

  • Social Contracts to establish those social norms
  • “Getting to Know You” activities
  • Group Work
  • All of my bulletin boards are also available on a Padlet. The Padlet is linked to a QR code that I have posted next to the bulletin board. Several of these virtual boards include “Citing Text Evidence,” “Word Walls”, “Conversation Starters”, “Goal Setting”, “Classroom Data Walls”, etc. These links are also available on our Schoology page for students to have access to them while working on assignments at home.
  • Online student portfolios for each student
  • Assessing students with things such as 3,2,1’s, KWL’s, “What Stuck with You” exit slips
  • SEL Check-in’s
  • Universal link to store digital newsletters for parents

The information outlined in this blog post was first presented at the AIMS Summer Splash event during the summer of 2021. Check out the slides HERE.

I have been an ESL/Bilingual educator for the past fourteen years and am currently an ELA/ESL teacher at Carpentersville Middle School. I am passionate towards English Language Learners because my husband is one, and I am a Spanish Language Learner myself. As an educator, I love to create ways to engage my students, while still creating opportunities of student ownership. Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @TracyFuentes17