Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day 4: Explain Everything

I don't know about you, but as a mom of a 3 year old you learn to explain things in a number of ways. This same practice that I use with my daughter (and sometimes my husband, when he gives me that look) I use with my students. In a classroom of 28 students, you have so many different kinds of learners at many different level. In an ideal world you would be able to teach to all of them, all at the same time and they would all have that ah-ha moment. doesn't work that way. On app that I have fallen in love with to help with explanations and assessments is Explain Everything.
Explain Everything is a paid app ($2.99) in iTunes (sorry, yes...FREE is always better. But I feel it was worth it). Explain Everything is a electronic interactive whiteboard program. Many teachers have asked me why I like this one better that others, especially free ones, but in my opinion the main part is personal preference. There are many other whiteboard apps that are free, but I have found that this app provides the students with more options then others.

I use this app in a number of ways in the classroom. The students use the app on their iPad mini's and I use it on my iPad to demonstrate on the screen, through airplay and a program called Reflector, that I will post about later. Within Explain Everything you have many choices for kids to create, demonstrate and assess. Here is a screen shot of all the buttons and options.

It may seem like a lot to take in for most kids, but you would be surprised how many times after I teach the buttons and how to use the app, I put the power in the students hands and normally shout out " I need help...somebody figure out how to ________. I don't know how to do it" and 5-10 student will stop what they are doing and it is on. They have a challenge on hand. Within 5 min. I have 2-3 students who know how to do and are ready to show the class. This is so powerful. With all the buttons, I have found that the quality of work is better. When you only can choose from 3-5 colors and you can't record your voice to explain, then why do it. I have many students that will not talk in front of the class, but if they can record privately, they will do it. I also have some lovely students that cannot focus when I provide them with a worksheet, but if I make them do it on the ipad...DONE! They become my most focused students and then become the teachers of the group.

Here are some of the things that I have done with this app, just to get your brain going.
-Gave the class a math problem and they write out their answer and use it like a whiteboard
-Spelling word practice
-Math problems: with voice and step process recording
-Life cycle illustration with voice recording of plant life cycle
-Group work
-Grammar (send them things in Showbie and they can bring them into Explain everything to work on them)
-Science kits

Hope you can use Explain Everything to help you in your classroom.


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