“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”-Jackie Kennedy
How can I help my students be better readers? What do good readers do? These are questions all teachers face daily. For the past 3 years, we have been using the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy approach to teach reading and writing. This has been very successful for us. One of our biggest obstacles in implementing this program is obtaining resources for teaching guided reading. Our leveled book collection initially was non-existent. Over the last 2 years, our school has prioritized literacy and added books to create a leveled book room. While we are in a much better position with resources now, adding books is expensive…and no one has any money.
Enter iBooks Author. This free program for the Mac allows you to create your own multi-touch book. It allows for creation of galleries, video, 3D objects, and interactive diagrams. There are templates ready to use or you can create your own. I’ve been creating books for my students in this app and uploading them to their iBooks app on the iPads. My first book was a non-fiction book about our city, Charleston, SC. It was written with easier vocabulary, repetitive text patterns, and utilizing mostly sight words. I created a second version using the same pictures with slightly more difficult vocabulary and increased sentence structure. The third version has the same pictures, but was written for my above-grade level readers. Knowing my students’ interests has also helped me decide on book topics. I wrote a non-fiction book on Dirt Bikes and another on Soccer. Looking at my state science standards, I wrote a non-fiction book on Baby Animals. Some of my boys who are more reluctant readers, love the Dirt Bikes book and read it daily.
The Common Core State Standards indicate students need to be reading more informational texts. By 4th grade, students should be reading 50% literary texts and 50% informational texts. Today’s workplace requires many different kinds of literacy. Good readers read many different kinds of books. They think about what they read and they make connections as they read. Good readers ask questions and make predictions. With the iBooks Author app, I am able to create student centered texts that are literally at their fingertips.
I’d love for you to leave a comment, subscribe to my blog, and/or share this post with a friend.