Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Clowning Around with Explain Everything

As a part of my role in supporting the new 1:1 iPad teachers, I spend 1 hour a week enjoying the company of some very precious small people and their amazing teachers.

The teachers I work with are all open to trying out new ideas, extending their students' thinking and challenging their own learning and teaching.

Today's literacy lesson was around recording and drawing in Explain Everything - at least those were the technical skills the class were practicing. However, more importantly we were working on almost all the Key Competencies and oral language - based around a SOLO task of describing.

Prior to the lesson, I had smart shared an Explain Everything template to each student's Google Drive using Hapara Teacher Dashboard. Without this tool, we would have had to spend 10 - 15minutes creating and saving the activity in the right folders.

I wondered how optimistic I was being to think that 28 7yr olds would all draw and record simultaneously without too much disruption or drama. Turns out, my optimism was simply a very real expectation. The class was incredibly excited to undertake this activity and very quickly arranged themselves around the classroom set to draw and record.

Every student was able to complete their description of the clown. Some recordings were tipping the 10minute mark and contained an awful amount of pauses - despite teaching them about pausing the recording. This is certainly an area to work on. The optimal length was around 2-3minutes which allowed for detailed drawing and some description.

The students reflected on how hard it was to draw and talk at the same time. This was noticed in many recordings. However, all students commented that they'd love to do it again and want to get better at it.

I'd like to share Jasmine's and John's recordings.

Jasmine's is well worth the 5 and a half minute watch. She add-libs beautifully as her clown prepares for a party.

John spent most of the lesson at Reading Recovery and so came in after instruction. He thoroughly enjoyed sharing his description of the clown and was very proud of his efforts - as am I.

As the students are still learning the ins and outs of their iPads and online learning, I posted their movies on their blogs for them. They will be very excited to watch their recordings tomorrow in class.

All around a very positive learning experience for students, teacher and facilitator.