At the start of our math lessons, second graders have been talking about numbers. During these ‘Number Talks’, students talk about the method they used to solve 3-digit addition and subtraction problems. Students get to share their strategies with one another. By doing so students are learning to explain and express their thinking as they solve problems. There have been a lot of 'ah ha' moments when students express a variety of ways to derive at the same answer.
Recently, we took the ‘Number Talks’ and added a technology component by using the iPads and an app called ‘Explain Everything’. This app works like an interactive whiteboard that allows students to create slides as they are explaining how they solved various math problems. They got to choose a color scheme, background, and write in color while recording the steps they took to solve the problem. When done, they then enjoyed hearing their voices as they played back their recordings.
Second graders were able to demonstrate in multiple ways that they are achieving the goal of developing computational fluency while thinking and reasoning like mathematicians. Explain Everything is a perfect academic tool for students to communicate their learning through the use of technology.