TEACHnology Today

Technology Integration Newsletter-December 4, 2014

Apps in Focus: Leveling your Classroom Library

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Review of Popular Classroom Library Apps

There are several different apps that help teachers to organize, level and manage their classroom libraries. There are many pros and cons for each app listed below so that you can read through them and decide if any of the free or paid apps are right for your purposes!

Many of these apps allow you to scan the barcode and receive leveling results within seconds! Before you begin, start with the expecation that no matter whether the app is free or paid, there is no app that will identify every single book in your library, and some may lack the detail you are looking for, so it will be important to do your own investigation.

Paid apps often have more information than the free apps, but each app has it's merit.

I would not expect a single resource to single-handedly level your entire classroom library, but each of the apps are able to level books found in their databases.

If you are interested in creating fancy labels for your books, Pinterest has a TON of them created by other teachers, so check it out!

Level It Books: $3.99

This amazing little library management app allows you to organize, level, and track your classroom's books in a new way. To use it, scan the barcode of any book and you will be able to view the Guided Reading, Lexile Grade Level Equivalent and DRA levels for the book. If information is not found, it can be manually searched for. The book is then stored in your personal library.

Once you have scanned in your books, you can conduct searches by grade level to find appropriate materials, and even check out books from your library to students as a way to track them!

There is also a feature that allows you to see books by level that have been recommended by other educators and to store a wish list of books you'd like to purchase in the future.

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Scholastic Book Wizard: Free

If you are new to book resource apps and don't want to invest money just yet, this app is a good place to start. You can search for books by keyword, tite and author, or scan a barcode to get information. A brief synopsis of the book is included on the “Book Info” screen as well as title, author, and book level information.

The biggest complaint about this app is that it's database is limited.

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Websites and Databases

A to Z Teachers Stuff Leveled Books Database: Free Online

This database allows users to search by title or author to determine the reading level for student books. Teachers have the option of searching to find Guided Reading Level or Reading Recovery Level.

Again, you won't find every book you need here (several popular titles are missing from the online resource,) it is free and helpful for some books. If you are just getting started, this resource will be helpful to you.

Scholastic Book Wizard: Free Online

This is the website that inspired the creation of the Book Wizard app. It allows educators to search by title, author, or keyword. Users can view a book’s Grade Level Equivalent, Guided Reading Level, or Lexile Measure. This would be another great place to start if you don't want to use an app.

Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Books Website: $25 per year

This frequently updated, subscription-based, on-line list contains 48,062 books submitted by over 300 publishers. Every book is reviewed and leveled using the F&P Text
Level Gradient.

15 Virtual Field Trip Apps

With technology, we have the ability to explore the world using mobile devices and show our students locations that would be normally out of reach. Using the apps below, students can access informational text, images and videos to learn about various locations. The ultimate goal is to get our students to think about those beyond our community.

Each of the apps below are awesome for exploring the world – click on each link to read more about how they can be used in your classroom!

  1. National Parks on Your iPad
  2. Interactive Maps
  3. Art Walk
  4. Earth Now by NASA
  5. Museum Exploration on iPads
  6. Atlas Apps
  7. 3D Atlas for iPads
  8. Museums of the World
  9. Gettysburg Virtual Tour
  10. Smithsonian Channel for Tablets
  11. Documentaries for the iPad
  12. Tree Exploration on iPads
  13. TapQuiz Maps Geography Game
  14. Art Museum on Your iPad
  15. Discovery Channel on iPads
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One More Workshop: iPad-Reflector and Splashtop

Next week I will be offering the last mini-session on Reflector and Splashtop in Room 144 (my room). Feel free to attend the session if you'd like to learn more!

Tuesday 12/9 at 7:20-7:50 AM

What Will I Learn at this Session?

  • How to connect your iPad to your computer and display it on your SMART Board using Reflector and Splashtop ( I will not be going over how to download the software, but how to connect it, so if you need help with that please contact me to schedule something and I'd be happy to help!)
  • A few ideas on how you might utilize Reflector and Splashtop in the classroom
  • Some iPad apps that work well with Reflector
  • Suggestions for adapting your current teaching methods with the SMART Board to include your iPad, allowing you to move around your classroom more freely

Year In Review

While this is not necessarily tech related, I saw it and couldn't help but share it with you! For those crazy days before Christmas that we know are coming up fast, this activity would be perfect for wrapping up 2014 and looking forward to 2015! Have students acknowledge one of their accomplishments from the current year and set a goal for the following year.
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Fill Out Form Below for Individual Technology Integration Meeting

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Past Editions of TEACHnology Today

September 4, 2014: Important Links, About Tech Integration, Chromebook Update and Google Classroom
September 11, 2014: Important Links, Technology Goals, Google Calendar and Chromebook Checkout, the 1-iPad Classroom and Reflector App
September 18, 2014: Important Links, Kahoot.it Tutorial, iPad App: Rhyme to Read
September 25, 2014: Digital Citizenship Image, Chromebook Checkout Refresher, iPad App: Noise Down, Bookmarking Sites: Tizmos and SymbalooEDU (with examples/resources by subject area and grade level)
October 2, 2014: Technology Goal Submission, Tutorial: Remind, Technology Workshop Opportunities, Chromebook Use Update
October 14, 2014: Technology Goal Update, iPad Spectrum, Apps for Every Classroom, Cool Tool: Planboard with Examples
October 23, 2014: Teaching Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety, iPad Reference Card (Printable), Cool Tool: Chatterpix App, Google Classroom, Apps for English and History, Sight Words on iPad, Youtube Channels for Educators
November 10, 2014: Tech Integration Request Form, Reflector and Splashtop (installation and use with your iPad and school computers), Google Calendar Refresher and links to LP School Calendars
November 18, 2014: Technology Mini-Session Poll, iPad App Suggestions with ThingLink, Thankful Turkeys with imagechef.com, Past Editions and Tech Integration Request Form
November 25, 2014: Technology Mini Session 1 Information, Planboard: Unit Planner How-To Guide, Formative Assessment with Socrative

December 4, 2014: Using Apps to Level your Classroom Library, Leveler Websites and Databases, 15 Virtual Field Trip Apps, and a Neat End of Year Activity