ipads and Story Time
Thanks to a generous grant from the Village Properties Teacher’s Fund, I was able to buy a HDMI capable projector and an Apple TV so that I could project my iPad wirelessly. I found that connecting the iPad to a regular projector meant I had to stand behind the children and it also didn’t give them a chance to use the interactive features of the story apps. But this week, we exctiedly tried out our new equipment and it was a huge success.
I feel strongly that we need to teach students how to read an ebook. In looking at many ebook apps I have found that some are so full of interactivity that a reader can completely lose the narrative of the story. With that in mind, I am showing my students how to read the narrative first and then go back and have fun with the features. This week I used two great apps with Kindergarten and Second Grade. Because I am now wireless, I can sit in front of the children with my iPad in my lap, just as I did with a print book. I chose in one case to have the story read by the app. In the other I read the text. It’s great to have that choice. I pointed out how important it was to listen or read the story first. Then I chose students one by one to come up and try the interactive features.
The first app I used is from Auryn. I have found they have very high quality apps and there isn’t an overload of interactivity. In What Does My Teddy Bear Do All Day? (see video at the beginning of this post) I chose to have the story read by the app. The voice, that of a charming little girl, really enhances the story. Only after the text is read can you touch the features and they are highlighted for you. I loved that feature. For Kindergarten, I used an app from See Here Studios—The Three Pandas, a delightful re-telling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears but with a Chinese twist. This time I read the story which gave me more control of the pacing and interaction. Again, the interactive features are not overwhelming but they are very engaging. Students loved the iPad! I plan to weave this new technology into my curriculum as much for the teaching of how to read eBooks as for the delightful apps themselves.
Also in the Library this week…
Kindergarten–see opening post
First Grade–We voted! After reading our last CYRM nominee, first graders loved getting their ballots, circling their favorite book, and putting their votes in the official ballot box.
Second Grade–see opening post
Third Grade–Third graders also voted for their favorite CYRM book this week.
Fourth Grade–After seeing a Keynote of one of my trips to Bodie, California, fourth graders heard Boom Town by Sonia Levitin. It was fun to compare the town in the story to Bodie and figure out how boom towns began and why some of them didn’t survive.
Fifth Grade–Mrs. Wooten’s class heard Eve Bunting’s Train to Somewhere this week. We first did a visible thinking routine with an old photograph of the orphan train riders. After observing the photograph, students pointed out details and then speculated about the photo and the people in it. By doing this first, the story had much more meaning as most students had never heard of the orphan trains of the late 1800s. (Mr. Orr’s class missed library this week because they were at CIMI)
Sixth Grade–Sixth graders began a series of lessons on website evaluation and effective web searches. This week they learned how to narrow down a topic by using focus questions, keywords, and phrase searching.