Multiplication arrays in Explain Everything

We’ve just started learning about multiplication and I wanted the class to use manipulatives and record their learning on their iPad. As one of the benefits of a BYO iPad is that children can reflect on their learning at home.

I gave the kids a container with 20 googly eyes and paired them with a buddy.  Who doesn’t love googly eyes right!


I told them that we were going to use the googly eyes to make multiplication array. Each person was to collect four googly eyes and discuss with their buddy how they were going to organise their collection.img_1378

The next step, was to take a clear photo to insert in Explain Everything and crop the photo if needed. These kids are amazing at multi-step instructions!  Here is where the kids demonstrated the various ways they could represent the array.


We continued with a few different arrays and then I gave them a backwards task. I told the class that the answer was ’15’ and they needed to show me the array. It was great to hear the discussion between the buddies on trying to figure out the array. There were kids who showed 3×5 and others who showed 5×3. Perfect lead into teaching them about turnarounds in multiplication just like in addition and subtraction.

img_1383 img_1384

I then told them that there is another array for the number 15. There were puzzled looks and lots of trial and errors and eventually one pair figured it out…


Now Explain Everything was the perfect App for the kids to flip the array vertically to demonstrate the turnaround. The perfect ‘light bulb moment’ that I love seeing in my students. To finish off the learning we labelled the document ‘My first array book’ to mark as their first learning experience with arrays. Here is an example of the finished product. My first array book

Give it a go!




Word Work with Explain Everything

I am a strong believer that when students do any Word Work activity it must be collaborative for them to get any benefit. One activity I love is explain your ‘Silly Mistake‘ in Explain Everything. As a teacher you get a quick indication if students understand their sort when they are required to explain their thinking.

  1. Students initially do a Table Sort with their cards and make a ‘Silly Mistake‘. My definition of a Silly Mistake is only making one or two mistakes, any more and you don’t know if students have made a Silly Mistake or lots of mistakes!
  2. Next students take a clear photo of their Table Sort and export the photo into Explain Everything.
  3. In Explain Everything students use the laser pointer to keep the audience focused on their explanation of their sort and their reasoning for the Silly Mistake OR leave their reasoning for their Silly Mistake for the audience to guess.
  4. Once finsished recording their voice, students export their video to Photos and share with a buddy OR upload to Seesaw for peers to view and guess the Silly Mistake.

Give it a go!



Writing ideas in Kidspiration

We recently had our school’s community fundraiser event, so, what a great stimulus idea for writing!

All students went, so they all had a personal connection to the topic.

To ensure all students were able to write an entertaining recount, we collaboratively made a Kidspiration map about the rides and stalls that were there.

img_1322Including some images assists the visual learners and adding the feeling of ‘scary’ reminds all students to expand their ideas.

After we had our planning session, students went ahead to independently write their own recount.

I didn’t have any student saying that they didn’t know what to write!


Give it a try!


Word Work with Kidspiration

I’m always thinking of new activities to keep Word Work interesting for my students. My teaching partner and I were exploring making a Word Family Tree in Book Creator. However, it proved to be very time consuming and detracted from the purpose of the lesson.

We then thought about using Kidspiration to make a Hot Air Ballon using the movie “Up” as inspiration. The idea took off!

We added a collaborative aspect of students swapping hot air ballon maps as a “blind sort” for a buddy to identify the sort headings.


Give it a try!




Graphing App Smash

What was initially supposed to be a graphing warm up, turned into one of the most AMAZING redefining activities I have taught. I have always thought of using the Numbers App with my Year 2 students but then dismissed it as it might be “too hard”. Well was I wrong!


As a warm up the students were asked to look at the food pyramid and make a picture graph in Kidspiration using the “Food Group” template under the Science tab.

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Students then exported their Kidspiration picture graph into the Blackboard to Write and Draw on iPad App to tally the food items in each food group.


From there students were going to use that information and make a bar graph using grid paper in their Maths books….HOWEVER, change of plan… I asked the students if they were keen to try something brand new, using an App they have never used before and were they willing to learn with me.

They all gave a determined ‘ YES!’.

We inserted the Blackboard image into the Numbers App and made a table with the information we had. Great! That was easy. All kids were keeping up. Next we deleted any empty columns and rows. A little tricky for some. So the students who were quick to grasp the concept became “experts” and were available to help others.

From there ALL that you need to do is select the table and click the + to add a graph. It’s that easy!


The kids wanted to do another one. So, we read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the students created a table of the amount of fruit the caterpillar ate, which they converted into a graph.


Now we could have stopped there… however we didn’t.

The students took a screenshot of their spreadsheet and inserted it into Explain Everything to answer: which fruit did the caterpillar like the most and how do you know that? 


Give it a go!





Seesaw for Collaboration

Recently I discovered Seesaw! Up until then, my Year 2 students had created amazing work with their iPads but I had not ventured down the path of social sharing. I want my students to be digitally literate to prepare them for their future and Seesaw is how I am introducing them to this.



Here are the reasons why I like Seesaw:

  • It is easy to use.
  • Students’ posts require teacher authorisation prior to going live.
  • Any posts that are inappropriate can be declined and deleted.
  • Students are learning to engage in social networking in a safe and strictly monitored way.
  • It is a closed group.
  • Seesaw can be used at school and home allowing students to collaborate outside of school hours.

Some ideas:

  • Upload images as a stimulus prior to learning.
  • Uploading documents for students to download prior to class.


  • Class reminders.
  • Students uploading completed tasks that I can check later and provide feedback on.
  • Students uploading work for others to review and give feedback.


Give it a go!


Book Summary in Book Creator

As the kids walked in they saw this message on the board….


There was a buzz in the room as the kids were all trying to guess what they were going to do next.


As a back up to either:

a) WiFi issues

b) Don’t have the QRafter App

kids were told if they had any issues they could go up to the book and take a photo of the book cover and crop it.

Once all the students had scanned the QR code, I gave them the next instruction…


The above Story Graph is from Seven Steps to Writing Success.

Instead of having the students write the various elements onto the story gimg_1234raph, I had them record their voices. The main focus of the lesson was not writing, it was their ability to summarise the story.

I chose the Book Creator App for the students to produce their Book Summary. The reason being is that when you record your voice a “Speaker Button” appears and we used that to indicate the various elements of the story.


What would have taken one hour was done in 15 minutes!


This allowed us time to move onto brainstorming a new Sizzling Start for the story in Kidspiration.


Give it a go!



Chance and Data with Kahoot

Today I used Kahoot and QRafter to engage my class with Chance and Data.

img_1197 I made a short Kahoot survey to gain the students interest in collecting data, creating graphs and analysing data. The students had a real hoot! You don’t need the app, it works fine on their website.

img_1192Instead of getting the students to type the URL (, I created a QR code with QRafter and had the students scan it and open the link.  Watching the kids open the link was like watching them open a box of chocolates!

img_1193In my Kahoot survey I allowed 20 seconds for students to select a response. This time went VERY fast. Next time, I’d allow at least 30 seconds response time.

img_1195 I really liked the immediate column graph after each question. We were able to analyse the data and make inferences with the results.

Give it a try!