Mrs. Garcia, one of our second grade teachers, came to me a couple of weeks ago and asked that her students be introduced to the Explain Everything app. The other two classes had already used the app during a science unit and she had seen how powerful it is.
We talked for a bit, tossing around ideas and then Mrs. Garcia mentioned homophones, asking if that might be something that students could share using the app. What a perfect idea! The students were in week 2 of a two week spelling unit on homophones. We decided that the children would draw directly in Explain Everything, label the homophones, and record a sentence (and definitions for Mrs. Garcia’s class). Our other two second grade teachers also decided to have their students use the app to share knowledge of homophones.
Before coming to the lab, the students were assigned a homophone pair (or trio). They wrote a sentence using the words and sketched a drawing on paper of what they would do in the app.
When the students came to the lab, we set up the new Explain Everything page, starting with their name and then saving. Because we have shared iPads, I have the students save this way: Class # + Teacher’s Initial + student name + project name. It seems long but really isn’t! (i.e. 21G Karen homophones)
Next we discussed how to draw – how to change the pen tip and width as well as the pen color.
As the students completed their drawings, they were asked to label the homophones.
Next, we talked about the how-to of recording and re-recording if necessary. However, before recording, we discussed the laser pointers. We wanted the students to use these to highlight the correct homophone as the sentence was read.
Recording went fairly smoothly. Some students discovered it’s a bit tricky to read, record, and highlight; all at the same time. But, they easily solved that issue – they asked another student to work the laser as they read the sentence!
Mrs. Garcia’s Class
Mrs. Cooper’s Class
Mrs. Shapard’s Class
Tips and Other Things I Learned!
- Use the students for peer tutoring – the child appreciates the opportunity to help and it is an invaluable aid to the teacher!
- The “add page” icon is right under the select symbol in EE and is very easy to hit, especially on the smaller iPad minis. We had to really watch to make sure the students had only ONE page! I think the record number of blank pages was 7!!
- Note to self: Remember to tell the students to use the laser pointer as they record! I completely forgot to do that with one class so we had a do-over.
- I do NOT recommend the “light saber” pointer. Wow – does that make a lot of noise!
The students did a fantastic job with this project and enjoyed sharing their knowledge in a new way.