As part of a review of the year it occurred to me that there were plenty of apps, programmes and ideas that shouldn’t get lost over time, but are often overlooked. So I thought a ‘don’t forget series’ might remind teachers of what is out there.
Number 3 : E-Reading
Strange, I know, but with the number of devices in a typical school these days it’s easy to forget that every single one of them could be used as a platform for books. The iPad and Guided Reading Post is still, after nearly two years, one of the top read posts of this site- so I know that people still see the iPad as a platform, but there is so much more you can do with computers, laptops and chromebooks.
On tablets the Kindle app is great for books – books can be cheaply bought for the app, and it allows notes taking, book marks and the usual tools such as a dictionary and read-aloud.
- Talking Stories – great for language, vocabulary, creativity
With headphones children can access a wide world of story telling – most of it incredible high quality and usually free. Start your search here, at the ever excellent Woodland Junior Site, Many of these stories come with games to play alongside – such as the excellent Clifford at Scholastic. The Children Books Online site also offer an ever changing selection. The quality can vary though, so do check. There is an excellent site, currently free, – Storyline Online which offers books being read aloud on video. A slightly different approach, but with great results.
- Just books
There are, of course, options of just accessing books – and whether it is leacing an open book on the computer for children to access or setting homework there are many to find. Some can be American-English, so always have a read through first (or get older children to review them for you!)
- Creating books
On iPad, books can be easily using apps such as Book Creator – but there are other ways of creating images and adding sound – such as Explain Everything. Some apps also allow you to create books within them – Collins Big Cat are great examples of this. Some paid services such as Pearson TikaTok also offer a platform for children to write and be published.
- Older children, or digital leaders, can review books and then share them with younger children.
- Often the authors site will contain extracts, or section read by the author – these can be a great way in to a story.
- Check with any reading schemes you use – they often have online areas to share books.
- Sites will also offer books in other languages – great for practise!
- Share with parents! What you find useful in school may be just what a parents is looking for!