Sunday, September 28, 2014

Acrostic Poems in 2nd Grade Using Explain Everything

This past week my 2nd grade students were working on poetry. After talking it over with my team, we decided that we wanted to make Acrostic Poems where students can record their voice and read aloud what they are saying. If you're into screen-casting you might have heard of the apps "Show-Me" "Educreations" and "Explain Everything." They are all free except for Explain Everything (EE)- this one is $2.99. Up until I started using EE, I was a HUGE fan of Educreations. It was so user friendly. However, they just released an update where it is so much more complicated to use that its previous release. Plus, with Educreations, there is no quick way to preview what you had recorded without saving it first. Last year, I used EE with my 4th and 5th graders and they picked it up really fast. There are TONS of features that it has, although it can be a bit complex. This year, I started working with 1st - 5th graders using EE. I knew it was going to be a stretch, but there are so many more features that the kids will grow in to as they get older. Anyways, I chose EE as my app for creating these poems.

This was a 1:1 assignment, meaning that each student had an iPad to create their own poem. After about a 10 minute introduction to EE, the teacher and I got started on the assignment. We had them create the same number of slides as there are letters in their name. Once the slides were created, I had them draw the letter of their name on that slide. They would then have to think of an adjective starting with that letter. (This can be a bit challenging if the student has un-common letters in their name.) Anyways, once they were written, I would then have them type out the sentence that they would read. Once they were done with this, I would take them out into the hallway where it was quiet and we would record. Once the student was done recording, I would have THEM type out the teacher's email address so that it could upload to Google Drive- from there they would hand the iPad to the teacher so they could enter their password. From there it uploaded and the project was complete. A word of advice- give yourself a few extra minutes to explain how the app works. It took a little longer than expected, but now that they know the app, they can now use it for other things besides poetry. Here is what the finished product looked like:

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