Running Records made easy with ‘Explain Everything’

I work in a lower socio economic primary school in Melbourne, Australia, where reading has been a focus for a number of years now. As a result, teachers are expected to complete running records at least once per term for each student (and more regularly for at-risk students).

Luckily, we are fortunate enough to use what I find to be an incredibly rich and purposeful reading program, called  Fountas & Pinnell benchmark assessment system.

Whilst I do appreciate that the texts within these kits are readily available and generally at a good standard for my students, I found that I was spending valuable planning and assessment time photocopying pages upon pages of running records throughout the year.

I searched far and wide for a running record specific app, but to no avail.

When I raised my frustration with one of my elearning coaches, he recommended I try an app called Explain Everything. It costs about 4 dollars, but is definitely worth every cent.

I have been using this app for the past couple of weeks (as the guinea pig in my team), and have generally found it to be invaluable to both my time management, planning and assessing.

9 Reasons I’ve loved experimenting with ‘Explain Everything’ for Running Records

1. It is extremely time effective – all you need to do is take a photo of each book from the running record teacher resource book, and you’re ready to go.

2. The text from the levelled book can be inserted from Photos, iTunes, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and some other platforms.

3. It allows you to create a ‘book’ for each individual running record – as soon as the student finishes reading a page, you simply flick over to the next page in the sequence – quick and easy!

4. You can record the students’ voice as they read, to review later, play back to them, share with parents, etc.

5. It allows you to choose between writing using text through typing, or to write by using drawing tools.

6. You can move the text around the page, as well as increase/decrease its size.

7. The ‘image’ of the running record can also be zoomed in and out easily, which makes it simple to insert notes while the students are responding to comprehension questions or when you’re noting an error or self correction during their reading.

8. The running record can be saved as a PDF, image or video.

9. Each running record can be individually exported to a wide variety of platforms, including Evernote, ibooks, iTunes, Dropbox, Google Drive, Youtube and many more.


4 thoughts on “Running Records made easy with ‘Explain Everything’

  1. Hi Tal –
    That’s a great idea! Another time saver is to use an app like RR (full disclosure – it’s my app!), to check the error rate, self correction rate and whether the text is easy, instructional or hard. I made the app for myself because I found that part of the Running Record too time consuming.

    Thanks for your post, I might try this in class today!

    Cheers, Matt Thomas
    http://www.rubberchickenapps.com

  2. Hi Tal,
    I love the Explain Everything app! I have never thought to use it as you have though – great idea. I used Evernote to record student voices whilst reading and I would take photos separately and put them into my student Evernote notebook but this looks much easier because you can do it all at the same time. I will have to give it a try now – especially as it can be exported into Evernote.
    We use a different reading assessment at our school called ‘Probe’. Have you used it before?

    Thanks,
    Katelyn 🙂

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