Draw and Tell in Kinder

Draw and Tell! Draw and Tell! Draw and Tell! Join me in a big cheer for this app. Over the past month, we have been busy exploring and finding ways to use Draw and Tell to make our learning visible, practicing our math strategies and skills and recording our voice to explain our thinking for our assessment component. 

I was introduced to this app at an iOS Summit, in Vancouver, by Karen Lirenman and am SO thankful. In my opinion, this app is somewhat similar to Explain Everything because of the ability to create a background or image and then record your voice and explain your thinking. There are many differences but in both apps you have the option to record voice over a created image. Draw and Tell is not as complex nor as interactive as Explain Everything, but I believe that is why it works so well for primary student learners. Draw and Tell allows you to create a scene or background and then record voice to lay over your image whilst moving the stickers and using a pointer to underline or circle areas of your image. Unlike Explain Everything, Draw and Tell only allows you to create one slide/image and only import a photograph as the full background, the record option only allows you to underline or circle with a pointer and move stickers (not shapes, images or text like Explain Everything does). I have found that on our iPad air the pointer shows up as a blue circle, but on our iPad minis the pointer shows up as a sticker (not as great as the blue pointer, I think this might be a glitch). Once you are finished recording, you can save the clip as a video onto your iPad and then share, export or import it into another app.


To introduce Draw and Tell we started with making a digital alphabet class book as a whole group. We created pages for each letter, added our classmates’ names who begin with the letter, and scrolled through the stickers to find objects that started with the letter. After, my plan is to import the saved video into Explain Everything to add the classmate’s picture next to their name to add another visual element. My plan is import all the separate letter video files into iMovie or Book Creator in the end to make a finished product that can be shared with families as a practice tool for at home. This whole group process of using Draw and Tell helped to model and scaffold the app before having student learners individually interact with the app, it was a powerful initial introductory step.

We then started using Draw and Tell as part of our ‘Ways to Make 5’ learning activities. We had been exploring a lot outdoors to find different materials to make 5 and doing hands-on exploration during our math stations so the concept was fresh and current for us before we started incorporating Draw and Tell into the mix, thank you to Karen for this idea.

I introduced it as a whole group math learning activity one day and then the next added into our math station mix. Our student learners immediately were flying with using the stickers, paint brushes and pattern prints to create various representations of the number five. 

We then shifted our learning focus more towards patterning, and I came across an awesome blog post about using Draw and Tell in French Immersion Kindergarten to demonstrate AB patterning and to assess their understanding in a Draw and Tell clip.

Once again we did an initial group lesson, and then added it into our math patterning stations. After a few sessions of using it, I pulled one student learner at a time to do this activity. A big thank you to Mme Kathleen for this activity inspiration, merci! I ended up using this as an assessment piece to add to their Fresh Grade portfolios to demonstrate their ability to create and continue an AB pattern using various objects and to record their explanation in a combo of French and English for families to understand. 

I am looking forward to using some time over the break to further research and find more ideas of how to use Draw and Tell in a primary classroom to make learning and thinking visible. I value providing hands-on learning exploration with natural materials and manipulatives, then moving to a whole group introduction to how we are focusing on the same skills but using Draw and Tell as a tool to show our learning, then adding voice explanations of their thinking for assessment.

I would love to hear how you are using this app in your learning activities and to make thinking visible as an assessment piece. 

Please share this post with your friends & colleagues!


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