Using iPads to collect text evidence in Reading Workshop

I was recently working with a Grade 4 class on a reading unit titled, "Following Characters into Meaning". The students have been tracking their thinking about their main characters on Post-it notes and then sharing their thinking with a reading partner who is reading the same text. Discussions have focused on what they are learning about their characters, how they learn about them ( actions, dialogue, thoughts/feelings) and how their characters change throughout the book.

We decided to use iPads and the 'Explain Everything' app to allow students to capture text evidence which supported their thinking. The students took a photo of the page containing their text evidence and then recorded their voice as they talked through their thinking, annotating the text as they spoke.

Here is an example:

Explain Everything Character Text Evidence from UWC South East Asia on Vimeo.

Next time, I will discuss with students how to be succinct in sharing their thinking. This could include teaching them when to use the 'Pause' button and how to record bullet points of their main thoughts before pressing record. It was beneficial in that students did not have to copy large sections of text from the book and, as a teacher, it was a good window into the depth of their thinking.

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