Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tried it Tuesday & Techie Tuesday - Explain Everything App in Guided Reading

Hello Everyone!  Today, I am linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday.

This week, I have a techie tried it, so I am also linking up with Karla from Technology Tailgate for Techie Tuesday.

A while back, I tried using the app Explain Everything in a guided reading group.  I first heard of this wonderful app from Karla at Technology Tailgate

 Cover art

The book I used was Skinnybones (guided reading level O).  If you haven't read this book, you really should.  It is hilarious!

This particular reading group was working on expanding vocabulary.  I selected three words from chapter seven.  The words slowly appear on the screen, and students try to guess the word as soon as they can, making adjustments as more letters appear.  After decoding the word, the next slide reads a short passage from the book, including the word from the previous slide.  Students then use the context clues to determine the meaning of the word.

Here is what the students saw.

After hearing all three passages, the students were able to make great predictions on what would happen in the chapter.

The students loved this activity.  I teach two sections of language arts, and both sections had a group reading this book.  In a later meeting, I allowed students to select words for the other class to guess.  They created slides like the first one I made.  They did their best to stump each other.

This activity took a little more prep than the typical guided reading lesson.  However, it was worth it.  The students loved it and learned from it.  The best part of it is that I now have the video saved for future use.  I plan to incorporate this app into future guided reading lessons.  I am looking forward to sharing them with you.

I'm now off to see what everyone else has tried and to check out some tech ideas.  Thank you, Holly and Karla for hosting these linkies!


  1. Explain Everything looks like a great app! I have never heard of it before but I can see how the students would love trying to guess the word as it slowly is appearing on the screen. I tried doing the same thing when I watched the video. Thanks for linking up! :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  2. Ooooo this looks awesome! I am very excited to try this! Thanks so much for posting about this!

  3. This sounds so fun! I am so jealous we don't have ipads in my school...... :(

  4. What a great activity! I always love hearing about good apps from other people, because I never feel like I have enough time to look at what's out there.

    Forever in Fifth Grade