Butterscotch meringue pie. Being in the kitchen is not a place I prefer to be because I don’t view it as an efficient use of time. The ratio of time spent preparing food to the time spent eating food does not seem time-effective so I’d rather let people think I’m deficient in my cooking/baking skills. However, my mother did teach me at an early age the art of baking butterscotch meringue pies with the most fluffy, feathery, and light meringue. The key: patience.
To try new techniques in the classroom, especially those involving technology, takes patience (and persistence, and endurance, …) because time is needed to
Padlet is a virtual bulletin board of post-it notes. Teachers can create a customized bulletin board and pose a question to students, and then have them type their answer on a post-it note. Teachers can use it to pre-assess what students know about a topic, post exit ticket activities, provide homework help, and more. Teachers can pose questions and solicit more than one response at a time. Teachers can even have students post comments to each other.
Before using Padlet with content, I first want to familiarize my students with the technology itself and how to use it. As an introduction to Padlet, I have students share information about their name and birthdate so they can learn how to add their own post-it note with the given criteria. Students then search the wall reading others’ posts to find relevant information.
Once students become acquainted with using Padlet, it can become an effective tool in the classroom. It can help students analyze in advance of a lesson how prerequisite skills can be used to master another standard. For example, I have used a Padlet that helps students describe what shapes they have been using to find the net of a rectangular prism. Students then determine what shapes they think they will use for a cylinder and identify formulas that could be used to find the areas of those shapes. Students can compare and contrast their answer with others to determine what might be the best answer.
Recall, however, how patience is needed on occasion. My middle school students have to be reminded that posting answers to a question on a Padlet requires more formal language with an audience in mind, which means not using texting abbreviations, slang, or hallway salutations. My moment with Padlet that required the most patience was a result of having copied a Padlet I had created then wanted to use with other classes. I have six different classes so having one Padlet with all the students posting would create too many notes (almost 150) and make the board too cluttered for students to glean information from each other so I made one Padlet for a period and then copied (selected “remake”) it. Students in my first class completed the Padlet assignment with all going well, but when the second class began the students could not post to the Padlet wall. There were two options available: choose frustration (give up, boycott technology, be negative) or choose patience (look at the settings and try to find a solution, call someone else for help, be positive). If I had chosen frustration, I would probably never had wanted to incorporate Padlet into the classroom again and students would have only learned a lesson about quitting. Instead, I chose patience and learned that when I remake a Padlet it automatically changes the settings so those with access can read instead of can write. Once I realized that was the issue and changed the setting, all worked wonderfully for the rest of the day. Patience led to a positive, productive day.
What secret did my mother teach me to creating such fluffy, feathery, and light meringue? Patience in beating the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, and then add the sugar ever so gradually continuing until soft peaks. Not only is meringue better with patience, but technology is better with patience.
Lisa Wagner has been teaching math for 25 years at Richmond Community Schools and 5 years at Ivy Tech State College. She earned her Bachelor of Science (1991) and Master of Arts (1996) from Ball State University and is certified to teach math, English, and computers. She and her husband have three children. When she is not spending time with family, she enjoys taking her Golden Retriever, who is a certified therapy dog, to visit at a nearby youth center.