How I Use It
The students wanted to continue working when it was time to stop. They asked if they could work on their stories at home (yes). They were making up stories to fit the images, so it took longer than it should have. I think if the students had most of the story already written, then found artwork that could be used with it, would be better. The students LOVED showing their stories to the rest of the class! I even had some teachers get hooked on story-telling and they are sharing their stories via email with their colleagues. You need to focus of what your goals are and decide what skills you are teaching - create a scoring rubric so the students know what you're looking for, or it's value could be lessened. It's also a great opportunity for students to practice their keyboarding, especially since online tests for 3rd and 4th graders are coming up next year.
Anything that gets students exciting about writing and telling stories helps them. The students I used it with most recently were in a multi-age grades 1-2 classroom. At that age, and with all the choices offered, they can spend way too much time picking out the artwork rather than putting their story into the "book."