Distance learning has been challenging for all of us, for many different reasons. For me, the hardest part has been the human connection. Interacting with my students is one of the things I miss the most: their laughter, their curiosity, their ideas. I know they miss each other too.
Educators have shared so many great strategies and platforms they are using that still allows students to make those connections with each other and I’m so grateful for the way the teaching community never fails to give. Allowing students to hear or see each other’s ideas is such a valuable part of the learning process! One way I’m working to re-connect students and encourage collaboration is with Lefty McGoo challenges on Padlet.
Lefty McGoo Writing Challenges
What is Lefty McGoo?
Lefty McGoo shares fun and flexible challenges for students of all ages! The best part is that Lefty McGoo wants to empower students of all backgrounds to be able to give to others with their participation goal. Let’s see how we can use today’s prompt to get students to connect and collaborate for a cause!
How to Get Started
1. Make sure you’re following Lefty McGoo on Instagram and sign up for their weekly preview emails here so you can see what’s coming. This way you can get some inspiration delivered right to your virtual mailbox!
2. Select a prompt that fits within your unit, a prompt you know your students will love, or a prompt that will challenge your students to practice a specific skill!
3. Give your students’ writing a purpose! Explain the participation goal and share ways their writing will help others. This week, Lefty McGoo is giving to No Kid Hungry to make sure that children who rely on school meals still have this basic need met, despite school closures.
Tips to get students writing!
Padlet offers multiple ways to collaborate and I love the versatility, but my three favorite are the brightest below. Though Padlet only allows you to have three LIVE Padlets at any given time (for free), once you archive a Padlet, you free up space to create a new one!
Stepping up to the Lefty McGoo Challenge!
Using the Padlet Wall, post the picture challenge from Lefty McGoo in the background, or as a post. Show students how to respond to the prompt focusing in on a specific skill you’re practicing such as dialogue, figurative language, sensory details, or a specific vocabulary word!
Students can even draw and upload their own pictures to go along with their responses.
After you select the Lefty McGoo Picture Challenge of your choice, save it to your computer. Then upload it to the the timeline!
Show students how to add details to the timeline to show what was happening before and after this photo was captured! All they have to do is think of where their idea fits in the sequence and press the little plus sign on the dotted line to add their idea to the timeline!
I saved the best for last. This one is definitely my favorite way to use Padlet because it helps to organize information, much like a graphic organizer or anchor chart for students to access to help guide their own writing. Think of it like a public brainstorm.
Inference Headers: What you know is happening, What you can infer, Questions you might still have about the picture.
Narrative Elements Headers: Setting, Characters, Conflict, Theme, etc.
Let Students Make an Impact!
Make sure to submit student work to Lefty McGoo! It’s as easy as taking a picture and sending it on over to Lefty McGoo in a direct message for it to count towards the funding goal! Lefty loves creativity and accepts almost any form of entry! If you have any questions, about submitting your work, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.