My mother was my world and she brought reading into it. -Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer
I was fortunate that I came from a family of readers. Everyone read and the love of it was instilled in me very early. I wish the same could be said for all of my students, and because it isn’t a priority in every home, I make sure to make it is a priority for the 7 hours they are with me Monday through Friday.
We talk about books and immerse ourselves in literacy building activities all day long. We compare books and authors. We compare writing styles and illustrations. We do author studies and we use mentor texts in our Writer’s Workshop time. I create books for my students in iBooks Author and in Book Creator. I put them on their iPads and they have “just right” books at their fingertips all the time. So, it isn’t surprising to me that my students are eager to make their own books.
Our favorite app for student-created books is Book Creator. I’ve written about my ongoing love affair with the Book Creator app many times, and now, you have the ability to draw within the app itself. After introducing my students to this versatile app, I was immediately asked if they could make a book. Many work on them during their free choice time. At this point, they are fairly short books. Here are a few screen shots from one of the first books a student created.
Because he recorded his voice reading the book, I can’t upload the file. This book was 5 pages, including the ever popular “The End” page. He worked every free chance he had over a couple of days to complete it. Because we use Showbie, I can upload his book to the shared folder and all of the other students can download his book and have it on their bookshelves. This is a great way for students to share their work with their peers.
Another student started a Space book in Pic Collage. It is not finished but her intention is to create several pages, save to her camera roll and upload into Book Creator. Here is one of the first pages of her book:
I love the enthusiasm and creativity of these children. I love how their excitement over creating a book is so genuine. I love how their eyes widened and they bubbled over with excitement when they saw the Book Creator app and what it could do.
Giving children choice in how they demonstrate their learning is a mainstay in our classroom. My students take charge of their learning through the use of these creation apps. They think nothing of using multiple apps to create a final product. They create and combine on their own with confidence. They are able to upload their final work to Showbie independently. They are proud of their work and are eager to share.
As a parent and as a teacher, I want my children and my students to feel the joy of being a reader. By bringing my own love of reading to the classroom, my students are discovering they are able to create their own books, make their own art, and share the joy with others as well.
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!