Hamster plus Technology

At the beginning of the year, I started a puzzle piece reward chart. I asked the children what they wanted to receive as a reward for achieving their class targets. Personally, I’m not one for Golden Time. Children have plenty of opportunity for that outside of school or during their break-times. Through much discussion we decided that we would get a class pet- a hamster. I have never thought much of hamsters and have known a few people in the past who are, in fact,  ‘hamster-crazy’. Nevertheless, since the vast majority of pupils wanted a hamster, I obliged. During the first term, they worked towards a cage; the second term they received a water bottle; and the third term the hamster. There have been lots of learning opportunities but here is what I have done thus far: 1) Socrative for voting. I set up ‘Short-answer’ and every pupil wrote down a name for the hamster. When we went through each name, pupils had to justify their choice and persuade others. Afterwards, I pressed the voting button and children were able to anonymously vote for their favourite name. Oreo- That’s now the hamster’s name! 2) Padlet for research. I set up a Padlet page with an image of the hamster in the middle. I have only used padlet for brainstorming in the past but wanted to use the ‘website link’. After all the children had gained access (through a QR code), I gave children 5 minutes to brainstorm research questions on hamsters. Then, after a bit of modelling, children were researched their question on the internet. They had to choose the best website to answer their question and upload the link. Since I had set up an account, the pupils work is now able to go up onto the class blog. Click here if you want to see it. 3) Nearpod for descriptive writing. Finally, my last session was asking the pupils to describe the hamster on Nearpod. I told them that after they had been submitted, I would read them and choose the next person to clean out the cage (yes, that’s a reward!). After we came up with a success criteria,  I received some fantastic pieces of writing which are permanently on my Nearpod account. There are so many learning opportunities through class pets and technology. I look forward to blogging about what I use in the near future too!

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