Teacher Review for Book Creator

Student-Created Engineering Journals & Science Notebooks

Whitney R.
K-5 STEM Teacher
McKinley Elementary School
San Gabriel, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects Math, Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Homework
Individual
Knowledge gain
Practice
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
ELL
General
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
The Book Creator app (and Chrome) has been a wonderful addition to our STEM Lab because students are able to creator science notebooks and engineering journals to document the steps that they take in a given project. I have also created book templates for students, 1st grade Plant Journals and 3rd grade Engineering Designing Journals for Dog's Heredity and Traits. Each student was given their own copy, and were able to insert pictures and videos of their projects, document the growth of plants, have options of adding text or voice, and listen to my pre-recorded directions that I both said and typed on each back. Since I see the whole school, which has a high number of ELLs, it is an amazing differentiation tool to provide guided support to all language levels. With the ability to include hyperlinks, students are able to go to other website to continue researching and respond to posts on Flipgrid. Additionally, the teacher can combine books from different students together to make an entire class book.
My Take
Once I heard about Book Creator, I started applying it as much as possible. It became such an easy tool to use for students and also teachers, as I would show teachers how to use the app to help support students. Many teachers have now started using it in their own classrooms, too! The app (and Chrome) are very student-friendly, providing ease in the accessibility of different functions, which many include both text and a graphic for each identification. This has helped serve my teaching better on many fronts. First, it provides students practice with a digital platform as they are documenting their science and engineering work. It provides differentiation for all learners, as I am able to give students choices about how to communicate their information, from typing text to orally recording their voice. It provides students with CHOICE...which leads to higher engagement and ownership of their learning. They constantly ask to work on their books to make it better, add labels, document their learning. It provides students the opportunity to create text features, hyperlink their table of contents, and insert video/pictures with labels. I was thrilled when Book Creator came out with the Chrome version because now my older students (who do not have iPads) are able to use their Chromebooks to keep digital journals---in a library, that I can see in real-time! It has helped to improve my teaching because I can quickly look at their books to see their learning, as them questions, and have them continue to build on heir learning. Lastly, I love how it differentiates for my language learners, from templates I can make to record text I have written, so students follow along, to having students read their work to themselves through the "Read to me" feature.