Sunday, February 9, 2014

Think Central and Explain Everything...Two Companions

As a bilingual instructor, I'm always on the hunt for apps that help my students develop good reading fluency. Several weeks ago, I came across an app that has brought a new meaning to reading comprehension. That app was +Subtext. It has been a great resource to help improve comprehension in texts, articles and stories for my students in guided reading groups. It has allowed me to differentiate instruction based on my students needs. In Texas, our last reading adoption was +Houghton Mifflin Harcourt so all of the decodable books are available for download via ebook format. The students are able to download their ebook assigned to them through https://www-k6.thinkcentral.com/ePC/start.do and then open it in Explain Everything. This is where my students practice their reading fluency by recording themselves reading their ebook. The students reformat the pages of the book by locking them in place so that the pages do not move around if they are accidentally touched. I can then share their recording via YouTube so that parents can hear their child read their ebook. We did discover a few scratchy sounds in our recordings and we learned that when recording on the iPad, its important to not touch the microphone area. This causes background noises when reading. So investing in some recording headphones or just a few in a station may prevent that from happening. You also may hear other students reading in the background as this activity was done in class during their Daily 5 rotations. So we talked about some things to remember when others are recording and reading around them. The students love hearing themselves read and this has really brought a new level of engagement to reading! Here is a sneek peek of two ebooks I have uploaded to my Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9vPJdgZdnlKnrU5CN2208w You can find them all there in spanish.