Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Monday, 19 May 2014

How we use Explain Everything for Reading follow up

Often we have visitors into our classroom observing how we use Explain Everything on our 1:1 iPad devices in the classroom and asking questions about how we manage this process and if it is time consuming to create each project.

One of our biggest uses of this App, is for reading.  Michelle and I create the purposeful activities as a follow up to the guided reading session, on an iPad and upload the Explain Everything as a project to a Google folder in our Google Drive.  While initially these projects were time consuming to create as we came to grips with the use of Explain Everything, we are now much faster at creating these, and have found the projects evolve as we try new things.  Also, as our students progress with their reading we are able to reuse projects with new groups and we find ourselves only needing to create new projects for our top groups.

Every child has their own Google account.  We then use Teacher Dashboard to share a weeks worth of reading projects to each group.  Our reading groups are assigned within Teacher Dashboard and as our groups are always changing and evolving it is easy to switch a child out of a group and into a new group on the Teacher Dashboard to ensure they receive the correct project.  As the projects are shared to each child's account, Teacher Dashboard automatically adds the child's name to the end of the project to prevent children accidentally saving over our master (or someone else's work!)

We scaffold the activity with the students each day at the end of their guided reading session and they work independently on the project after this session.  Students know how to save the projects back to their Google Drive as a movie file and we have the Explain Everything viewer app on our teacher laptops to assist in viewing projects that have been saved as an Explain Everything file rather than the movie.  We encourage the use of the recording feature so we can hear what the students are doing and thinking and we can look at filling any gaps in future lessons.

As our children are young, once a week we file the previous weeks reading activities into a reading folder and download the new weeks activities from their Google Drive so they are loaded and ready to go - we would hope that students will be able to complete this process themselves as the year develops.

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