Posts tagged #reading


The "iBooks" app is a great way to keep your classroom well read. Ibooks has a ton of books for any ios that are great in the classroom and can be interactive.  They could purchase text books or the school could purchase the text books for them.  These text books in ibooks have things like 3D models and interactive maps they are very cool.  With the ibooks app you get a free Ibooks Author app that lets you create books for your classroom.

How it works: You download the app then go to the library where there are thousands of books for you to choose from.  You could preselect books for your class or let them pick their own.  They download at the click of a button and then boom a book right in front of you on the computer or an ipad.

Posted on December 8, 2014 .

Sight Words List-Learn To Read

"Sight Words List-Learn To Read" is a free app that is simple and helps your child learn vocabulary and how to read. It contains 315 words that are broken down into appropriate age groups. It has five game modes that correspond to different age groups that ascend from Pre-k to 3rd grade and then the 6th section is all about nouns. The five game modes start off from easy (2 words only) to challenging (6 words per page).

How it works: It has big and easy to read flashcards for memorization and better understanding. It has different mode settings ranging from easy to more difficult stages. You can also record your own voice to save words and add your own unmlimited number of flash cards. It has customizable speeds of the switching of flashcards.

Posted on December 8, 2014 .


Booksource is a free app and website that allows teachers to organize their classroom libraries. You can input the title, author, ISBN, and number of copies, as well as a photo of the book. There are two pages—a teacher page to organize the texts and a student page where students can check out and return books. Pages can also be password protected.

You also have access to a page of suggestions for your library, and you can purchase these books directly through the website/app. You also have the ability to manage students and view reports. Reports include student checkout history by reading levels (AR, Lexile, Guided Reading), as well as the book distribution by reading level, fiction, or nonfiction. It also tells you what books are currently checked out.

First, you’ll need to create a free account. Once you are logged in, you can begin entering books into your library. You can input manually, scan the book using your phone, or import from Excel. Once entered, you can also export this information to Excel. You can manage the columns displayed, so that you can only see the information that is important to you. Overall, this is a great way for teachers to organize and maximize their personal classroom libraries for students.

Posted on December 8, 2014 .

Little Bird Tales

Little Bird Tales is an app that allows students to create their own digital story. It’s easy to navigate, which makes it great for even the youngest children. The accompanying website can be used to upload stories, share photos, write journals, and further learn about digital storytelling. Additionally, once uploaded to the website, you can share your story, embed, create PDFs and MP4s. The website also offers user uploaded lesson plans and Common Core templates.

One downside is that the app isn’t free. It costs $2.99 in the App Store, but honestly the possibilities are endless and it’s a great way to incorporate technology into the classroom. It can be used with all types of assignments—from documenting science experiments to having students create their own personal stories. Parents can also use it to record family memories and events in albums. This is definitely a great multipurpose tool that can be used by kids and adults alike.

Once you’ve purchased the app and created an account, you’re ready to get started! You can create a title, can add text, and upload photos. Best of all, you can record your own audio as well as create original artwork in the app’s art pad. You can then preview your story and upload it to the website to share with others. 

Web Link

Little Bird Tales Example Video



Posted on December 8, 2014 .

Reading Raven

Reading Raven is an app that assists students in helping build their reading skills. This app allows students learn to read by using step by step activities that are designed to build a solid foundation for beginning readers. Reading Raven is customizable for each student based on age and reading level. It has self-paced games and activities that make the learning to read process fun for students of all ages. It covers the skills of reading, writing, phonics, letters, spelling, and vocabulary through five extensive lessons with hundreds of individual activities. 

Reading Raven is suggested for ages 3-7. It is made to help students learn to read and strengthen early reading skills. Starting at age three it has self-paced activities from letter matching, to letter tracing and sounds, then working up to word matching. At the suggested age of four but varrying depending on reading level, the lessons go from vocabulary, to word beginnings, to word building, and ending with word spotting. After mastery of those skills the app then focuses on skills like reading aloud, word tracing, and word groups. 

Price: $2.99


Posted on December 4, 2014 .


Subtext is a free digital reading app that you can download from the iTunes app store. It is compatible with iPhones and iPads. Subtext incorporates Common Core instruction and focuses on the importance of reading goals. It allows K-12 teachers to embed instruction in digital texts. Subtext supports ePub, PDF, Google Play, and web articles from their collection. This app also has a ‘Save to Subtext’ option. With Subtext, Students are better prepared to analyze the text, make real world connections, and articulate their thoughts. I would use this tool to help students to understand the importance of reading for a purpose.

How it works:

Teachers set up an account through the Subtext app. Then, teachers are able to create private groups to share content, differentiate instruction, and stay organized. After logging in, teachers are able to add digital reading content to carts, add discussions without internet connection, and restrict students’ access to the web. You can double tap a page and get every student on the same page; double tap any word in the text to view its definition. Lastly, you can paste tagged passages or annotations into Google Docs. 

Link to Subtext:

Posted on November 3, 2014 .

Brain Pop

Brain Pop creates animated, educational movies for the classroom. Teachers can purchase one of multiple subscription types or just use the “free stuff.” Like anything, you get more options as a subscriber, but even the free videos are great. The best part about this app is that you can download a different version depending on what age group you teach: Brain Pop Jr. (K-3), Brain Pop, Brain Pop Español, and Brain Pop ESL are all available. As a future K-8 teacher, I know these videos will be great transition activities or “brain breaks.”

Here’s how it works:

A variety of subjects are available: arts and music, science, social studies, engineering and technology, English, math, and health. Each subject is then divided into more specific categories; for example, if I were to click on “science” I would then be able to choose from topics such as earth systems, matter and chemistry, energy, ecology and behavior, etc. After each video there are activities: some of the free ones include order of events, short essay questions, graphic organizers, and a vocabulary list with space for definitions. These activities could be used while the student watched the video, a “ticket out the door,” etc. There is also a Q&A tab that could be used as a prompt for classroom discussions or submitted to the teacher as a formative assessment. Subscribers gain access to quizzes. By using the Mixer tool, instructors can adjust the quiz difficulty to students' ability levels and use the results as a formative or summative assessment.

Brain Pop can be downloaded as an app on all major platforms or through

Posted on November 3, 2014 .



This free app is an excellent resource for teachers and students. Compatible with iPhone and iPad, it offers thousands of free audiobooks and podcasts. Here are a couple of ways this app could be used by teachers and students:

  • Teachers-In my residency, there were times when I was asked to teach something that I had never read. Teachers already have so much on their plate, so reading and studying a new book or story is at the bottom of the list. With this app I was able to listen to the book while I was driving to and from school. It really helped me save time.

  • Students- Students need to hear proper reading modeled. Well that’s great in the classroom when the teacher is there to do this modeling, but what happens when the students go home? This app will help students when they are at home. They can listen and follow along in the book. This is a great thing for your struggling readers.

The really great thing about this app is that the audiobooks can be downloaded for offline streaming, so students can listen to audiobooks on their bus ride, and teachers can listen on their commute.

 Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the app.

  2. Search for audiobook.

  3. Preview or Play

  4. Listen and enjoy

Posted on November 3, 2014 .

Reading Rainbow

Reading Rainbow App

Most of you probably remember LaVar Burton and the popular show The Reading Rainbow. The Reading Rainbow App is based on the show. It is available on iPads and Kindle Fire. The app provides an unlimited library of children’s books and video field trips. While it is free to download the app, you must purchase a subscription to view the content. You have the option of subscribing for a year ($49.99), 6 months ($29.99), or monthly ($9.99). However, each family can download 5 books as a free trial.

This app could be used in and out of the classroom. Here are some examples:

  • Incentive for positive student behavior, grades, participation, etc. (The 3 students who earn the most golden stars by the end of the day will get to read one book on Reading Rainbow.)

  • Story time / Read-alouds (Find a story related to the day’s lesson and read it to students. Pick students to help you turn the page or interact with the story.)

  • Read 20 minutes a day (The option for having the app read the book to you is great for busy parents. Their child can still get in the 20 minutes of reading without them actually having to read to them.)

The website,, offers a few extras such as a blog and some video read-alouds.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create account/profile (It asks for a name and email address.)

  2. Unless you want to subscribe, choose the free trial option.

  3. Browse the islands (Animal Kingdom, Awesome People, Genius Academy, etc)

  4. Choose a book.

  5. Read it or have the app read it to you.

  6. After you read the story, play a game based on the story.

 I love children’s books! I think they can be used at any level, even high school. I downloaded one book from the Reading Rainbow app, part of my free trial, called Crazy like a Fox: A Simile Story. I would use this in a high school class to introduce and teach the concept of similes.

Even though this app does have a cost associated with it, I think it is worth it for the amount of books, videos, and activities that come with the subscription. You probably can’t buy 5 books at a bookstore for $49.99.

Posted on November 3, 2014 .


Storia is a free app available for iPads. The Scholastic e-reader app is designed for kids with books that are embedded with questions, activities, and dictionary definitions. The download comes with five free books, but additional books can be purchased and added to a ‘bookshelf’. This app can be used to engage students of all ages and reading levels. I would use this app for students that finish their work early, as a reward for good behavior, and to help students with reading fluency. This is a great app to also broaden students’ vocabulary. Storia is a wonderful tool to help achieve learning outcomes of Common Core and State Standards for ELA.

How it works:

Students simply download and set up an account. Books can be downloaded and added to a ‘bookshelf’ to be saved for later. Storia is also available in a school edition that allows teachers to download up to 2,000 titles for every student for a school year.



Posted on September 30, 2014 and filed under Reading.