Fabulous Source for Literature!
EPIC! is one of my favorite teaching tools. It is an inexpensive (free) way to increase the number of books in my classroom. I love that I can create book collections to share with my students. The Read-to-Me texts are helpful for my non-readers/low level readers. Students are excited to use this app for their free reading time. My students do enjoy watching the videos. While, I do not mind some video watching, I do have to teach expectations for when it is okay to watch videos and when it is not. I like that students can do an advance search to include fiction or non-fiction. Students can also search by Lexile or AR level. At my school, we use DRA so it would be helpful to have the option to search by DRA level. I like that students can access this app from home. However, most of my Title I students generally do not have the extra money for this.
How I Use It
I use EPIC! in my kindergarten classroom once students begin reading. I generally introduce EPIC! during a research unit such as insects. In small groups, I teach students how to search for a book on their chosen topic. The app is child friendly and easy for students to learn how to search. After exposure in small group, students choose their own topics to research. They love looking up different animals! Over time, students begin searching for books on all sorts of interests. I also use EPIC! for large group read alouds. I can find texts on nearly any subject and they present well on the smartboard.