Do you have students who show no interest in reading? We must be aware that their reluctance to read could be for multiple reasons - perhaps they are having difficulty with particular reading skills? Or are they disinterested in the reading material?
Thursday 2nd March is Read Across America Day, an event established by the National Education Association (NEA) to promote a love of reading. You can run activities on this day to kick off a renewed interest in reading that will hopefully last all year. The NEA has some great ideas you can explore on their website. If you’re interested in the book tasting idea - check out this extensive guide from a Book Creator Ambassador.
It’s also Read an ebook week from 5-11th March. Digital books are something we know a thing or two about. But were you aware of how Book Creator started?
The Book Creator origin story
Like all the best superheroes, Book Creator has an amazing origin story. Did you know that the app was created to help a reluctant reader? In 2010, Dan Amos and his wife were trying to support their son, who was struggling to read the books provided by his school.
Dan’s son was diagnosed with dyslexia. This meant the curriculum-based books that his classmates were reading were not suitable for his reading level.
With a distinct lack of reading options available, Dan and his wife came to a decision that would change the course of their lives! They decided that instead of trying to find reading material he would engage with - why not create it themselves?! And so Book Creator was born. Dan built the app himself and before long they were able to create books on subjects that their son could get excited about, and his reading subsequently improved.
How Book Creator can support your reluctant readers
One of the things we try to impress with Book Creator is that reading isn’t just about words. As teachers, you have the power to create differentiated materials for your students—combining text, audio, images, video and shapes to tailor the reading experience.
The numerous accessibility features built into Book Creator mean that you can take advantage of tools such as text to speech, the Open Dyslexic font for reading, and more. Multiple Means of Representation is an important concept in Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Book Creator has been built with this approach in mind. If you’d like to learn more about this, check out the book Using Book Creator for Differentiated Learning.
Examples from school districts
Issaquah School District #411
The Instructional Tech Team of Issaquah School District 411 collaborated to create a library of reading strategy template books for grades K-5. The books for grades K-2 cover the following reading strategies:
- identifying text features
- making connections
- retelling the story
The books for grades 3-5 focus on:
- making inferences
- point of view
- synthesizing information
These grab and go templates are available to remix through Book Creator. They are a valuable resource for educators seeking to teach reading strategies to Elementary students. Students are able to work through their own copy as the instruction takes place in the classroom. Teachers can provide feedback to support student advancement throughout the lesson.
Cincinnati Public Schools
Thank you to Kerry Ginn - an Intervention Specialist at Cincinnati Public Schools for sharing these resources. Some of these books are highlighted in our Partner Spotlight book.
The books below are all remixable templates so you can copy them and add them to your own libraries. Click on the image to open the book.
Finger Spelling Practice
Kerry uses this book to practice splitting and spelling words that follow phonemic rules (based on Wilson's Fundations curriculum). She has recorded her own voice to mimic how she would support students in a group or individually, but you could get students to record themselves reading. With these books, students can do independent practice with finger spelling, their voices and whiteboards, while they listen and watch as many times as they like.
Red Word Playbook
This is a fun book which gives students the chance to explore Book Creator whilst learning that words don't always follow the rules. Each student tries to learn five new rote memory words each week. They play with designing pages featuring their chosen words and then listen to the playback.
A Reading Pack to get you started
This pack includes:
15 Ways to Use Book Creator for Reading Responses
Reading responses can take many forms and Book Creator gives you the space to set up students for success. This book includes 15 ways to use Book Creator for reading responses. You can tailor these ideas to both collaborative and independent student products and scale each one to make sure it meets the needs of your students. Ideas include daily journals, book selfies, wordle reflections, reading portfolios and more.
Reading Journal template
This starter template is a Book Creator book that you can download to your own library and share with students so they can get started with their reading reflections. Students will set reading goals for the year then review each of the books they read. Feel free to customize the book for your own needs.
Vocabulary Notebook template
Capturing and learning new words when reading is an important skill to developing literacy. Use this example book as a way to structure vocabulary. Just download it and copy/delete pages as you need. You could pre-populate the book with words for your students to learn, or have them capture any words they come across when reading. They can add definitions, examples and synonyms/antonyms (depending on their grade level).
Inspiration for reading - Book Creator libraries
If you’re looking for books to inspire reading, you could search through the library of books we have at read.bookcreator.com, covering various grade levels and subjects.
Dan Kemp is the Marketing Director and has been working here since 2013. One of Dan’s favourite jobs is hearing the stories of how Book Creator is used to bring joy to classrooms all over the world, and he happily retells these stories on these pages!