Grouping Students: Thoughts from our Teaching Team
The way you organise your groups really depends on what you are trying to achieve from the lesson and also the different students you have in your class. Sometimes you should group according to ability to make it fair, but at other times it is beneficial to group according to personality to evoke more conversation.
It was fascinating to watch how the students interacted with each other while using the iPads.There can be a lot of cooperation, but at the same time the children can become quite competitive with each other. You need to discover what works for your classroom, as you would with any other activity.
Lesson Ideas: Suggestions from our Teaching Team
A typical Year One shape lesson often involves drawing and labelling 2D and 3D shapes on Isometric paper. We adapted this lesson using the Explain Everything app. Instead of using a pencil to draw shapes directly onto Isometric paper, the students took photos of the paper, then loaded the photo into the app. There they could draw shape after shape, recording their drawings and their voice to create a video. This was excellent for students with literacy difficulties because they could name and describe the shape instead of writing it down, demonstrating to their peers and teacher what they knew about shapes. Doing this activity digitally also meant that students could draw, correct and redraw shapes many times, never running out of paper.
Kindergarten took the iPads outside and went looking for right angles. Students took photos of right angles that they found in the playground and then they imported them into Explain Everything. Students recorded their voices over the top of their photo as they traced the angle they had found, explaining what it was they had taken a photo of and why it was a right angle. All the students were engaged and enjoyed the activity. The librarian walked past and made a right angle with her body for the students to take a photo of. All the kindergarten students walked away from the lesson knowing what a right angle was.