Creations too Big For The Walls? Be a Book Creator
Type of technology: IPAD APPLICATION
SAMR Model Rating: Modification
Grade level: All
Subject area: All
Cost: FREE or $5
Description: The simple way to create beautiful ebooks
Reason number 100,000 why I love technology… to compensate when after all the thinking through in lesson planning we still have a, “I didn’t think of that” moment. Here’s my story of how I used technology to fix a small teacher error, and put together something with my students that enhanced their learning and more than accomplished my original intended goal.
I teach Kindergarten and though I try to extensively plan activities and think of every outcome of a lesson, 5 year olds generally have me saying, “I didn’t think of that or see that coming” more than I care to admit.
After a few years, I have gotten better, but they never cease to surprise me. Part of the fun…of course.
Kindergarten uses the FOSS units as our science curriculum. Right now we are studying trees and weather. As part of my students’ homework, I had them take a nature walk with their families. They were asked to collect ANYTHING that sparked curiosity, with special attention to parts of trees and leaves.
My students brought a plethora of things. Everything from small acorns to sizable tree branches. We investigated, observed and shared their findings. I then blended together all our collections to use in an art/writing project. We read the story Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, which inspires students to make art out of their nature collections and write about what they created.
I laid out the observation trays on a table in the back of the room. I sent the students a few at a time to pick a few items to arrange on their construction paper. Teacher, “I didn’t think of that moment”: I did not think to remove the stumps, giant pinecones, or rocks from the collections. I thought given the model, the pictures in the story, and the surface they were given to work on they would not use these items in their art…I was wrong.
But my kiddos were so excited about the project and were using scientific vocabulary as they put together their creations that I did not want to squash that creativity or ruin the fun.
The reason I was concerned about the large objects was I had intended to have the art displayed on the walls next to the students’ writing. The Elmers white glue would not hold giant pinecones, gravity would prevail. In comes technology to save the day with the ipad application Book Creator.
I used Book Creator to create a class book with digital pictures of the students’ leaf man art, with pictures of student writing, and voice recorded dictation. The app allowed me to augment my original plan to enhance student learning and create a project display even more engaging and interactive then intended. Technology turned my I should have thought of that moment into an amazing digital book created collaboratively by my students to publish their work.
I love Book Creator because like the apple products themselves, this app is extremely easy to use. Adding text, pictures, drawing and recording is all done in a simple touch of a button. My kindergarteners did it with some assistance, but even as young as 1st grade could use this application independently.
In this lesson I used the application for science, but I have found it useful in fiction writing and storytelling as well. This app sets students up with endless possibilities for creativity, and gives them a professional outlet for publishing and sharing their work.
I encourage teachers to download the free version, in which you can create one book at a time, just to try using Book Creator. When you see what it can do and fall in love, download the full version for only $5 to keep as many ongoing projects as you want. A class set for example, if you are a one ipad classroom. Reason 100,001 that I love technology and teaching, the endless possibilities you didn’t see coming.