Redefining the FSL Classroom with Explain Everything

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This article is the first in a series of how Explain Everything can be used effectively in the FSL classroom. The versatility and simplicity of Explain Everything is best used to help students build understanding, share knowledge and capture their thoughts.

Interactive FSL Notebook

Teachers and students can continuously send and create content through Explain Everything in order to build an interactive notebook that highlights student learning throughout the school year.  Interactive notebooks can be used for reviewing new concepts and completing assignments.  The reason I chose Explain Everything is because it also provides the option of documenting student voice.
Here are a few ways that Explain Everything can redefine your FSL classroom:

Online Resources/videos

Explain Everything makes it easy for teachers to share interactive resources and videos with students.  Why reinvent the wheel when the web is filled with great websites that provide great resources, such as IDELLO, TFO and even YouTube!  Simply press on the "+" to input videos and web browsers into an EE project.

Student Reflections/Practice

Picture prompts can be both funny and engaging!
This is a great way to get students talking and practicing oral production.  Provide students with simple written or verbal prompts then ask them to record themselves speaking for at least 1-2 minutes. Students also have the option of bringing in a picture to refer to while they speak in EE.  If FSL students intend on taking the DELF, they must be able to talk about themselves for several minutes so this is an effective way to practice!

Examples of Reflection Prompts:
-Qu'est-ce que tu as appris en écoutant le clip?
-Qu'est-ce que tu as observé  dans le vidéo?
-Qu'est-ce qui s'est passé?
-Quelles compétences métacognitives as-tu utilisé?
-Es-tu d'accord?

Examples of  Practice Prompts:
            A1 Learner: I can 
                  -Parle-moi de ta famille (parents,
                  -Quelles sont les choses que tu aimes? Que tu      n'aimes pas?
                  -Parle-moi de tes amis.
                 -Quelles nourritures aimes-tu manger?
            A2 Learner:
                   -Où es-tu né? Décris ta ville.
                   -Quel sujet aimes-tu le plus/le moins à l'école? Pourquoi?
                   -Quelle est votre film préférée? Pourquoi?
                   -Que fais-tu pendant les vacances, le weekend?
            B1 Learner:
                  -Veux-tu aller à l'université ou au collège? Pour étudier quelle matière?
                  -Comment te vois-tu dans 10 ans?

Get creative by providing students with pictures as prompts!  This could also allow students to explore different vocabulary

Teacher tutorials

As educators, we know that students work and learn at different paces which is why it is essential to provide extra support to those students who require more processing time.  Short, engaging video tutorials are great resources to provide students with so they can access and re-watch the lesson whenever needed.  There are a few great apps to help teachers create tutorials such as iMovie, Spark Video, TouchCast Studio, Book Creator, and of course Explain Everything! The example provided here was created in Explain Everything and exported as a video.

Interactive, authentic activities that focus on all areas of the CEFR 

The interactive touch and record features in Explain Everything allow for so many great opportunities for authentic learning in the FSL classroom.  Students can show their learning while speaking which reinforces the authenticity of activities.

Example of authentic activities:

A1: I can make simple purchases and make statements involving numbers, quantities and cost.

Find animated pictures online through Google Images.
In these examples, students are provided with a quick scenario on the first slide, then they must record themselves in a one-way interaction with the sales staff.  This type of activity could also be used in several other situations like at the restaurant, at the corner store, or even at the cinema concession stand.

Challenge your students by adding extra slides with different scenarios.  For example, at the clothing store they could be told that the item they are looking for is not available and they need to look for something different.

A1: I can understand simple directions to get from X to Y, by foot or public transport.

For this activity, students are provided with an animated map and an audio recording of the teacher giving directions.  Students must listen to the recording and use the pen or highlighter to draw the directions on the map.

A2: I can order something to eat or drink
Create an EE project with moveable images that students could potentially purchase.  Using the record feature, students record themselves ordering items while moving them into place.

A2: I can discuss with others and organize an outing
This activity should be collaborative.  Provide groups of students with scenarios and ask them to talk it out!  Students can use the "New Video" feature to show their interaction or they can import avatars instead.  Some scenarios could include organizing a birthday dinner for a friend, getting together to see a movie, or meeting up at a friend's house after school.

Stay tuned for more ways to help redefine your FSL class with Explain Everything! If you are doing something innovative in your own class, I would love to hear about it!

Lindsay Deschamps


I am an Innovation Instructional Coach for District School Board North-East in Ontario, Canada.


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