iBooks Are Classy

A firm believer in active reading, I’ve always enjoyed writing in my books. I journal in the margins. I’ve poopooed the use of digital books for this reason.

During the summer of 2018 I began a project I’d been thinking of for a while–I set out to read every Newbery Award-winning book. I coupled this goal with an aim of blogging about each. My third book in presented a problem.
Being a proficient reader with a large-enough vocabulary, I was flabbergasted to find a plethora of words I did not recognize in “The Dark Frigate.” To begin with, what on Earth is a “frigate”? Granted, much of my missing knowledge was due to the genre of 16th century sailing vernacular, but there was plenty of simply robust verbiage I needed help with as well. So much so that a paper book was as helpful as a pile of shredded scraps, I had to stop every 5 seconds to look something up!
Thus, I decided to finally tryout iBooks.
I had dabbled before and was familiar enough with the tools. At first, it was the ease of looking up the meaning of words I didn’t know from right inside the book that sold me, but as I continued my reading, I fell in love with taking notes, highlighting with different colors, and bookmarking significant pages.Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 6.48.46 AM
It slowly dawned on me that not only would this be a helpful tool for students, but I can acquire digital books to share with groups of students to use during guided reading! I could have students stop and type notes right in the text. They could take screen shots that are instantly shared with me via airdrop. These can be added to a digital portfolio, monitoring student progress.
Another way of using this digital tool is having a class set of books for a read aloud. No longer do I have to borrow or buy 25 copies of “The Indian in the Cupboard”. All of my classroom iPads can access my copy within iBooks, through using my professional Apple ID. And, not only will kids be able to read along, but they can be asked to connect to the text by highlighting and commenting right in their own copy of the iBook!
I’m not completely done reading “The Dark Frigate” (1924) by Charles Hawes, but wanted to pause to share my thrilling revelation of the usefulness of iBooks. I look forward to blogging about this, the third ever Newbery Award winner. It took me a while to wade through the vocabulary and dialect, plus the plot was droning to begin with, but the action is picking up. Look for my classy blog about Philip Marshal and his adventures aboard the Rose of Devon, coming soon.

 

Published by

Matt Weimann

I am a 3rd grade teacher (since 2011) at Willow Lane Elementary (http://www.eastpennsd.org/willow/) in Eastpenn School District, Macungie, PA. I have run a school-wide newspaper club for three years and am starting a chess club this year. What makes me me is artistically blending technology with hands-on, crafty, artsy, messy, tinkering, exploring, discovering activities. You can learn more about me on my school website "About Me" page: https://sites.google.com/eastpennsd.org/mrweimann/about-mr-weimann

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