Monday, September 15, 2014

Creative Strategies for Redesigning Today's Classrooms via @All4Ed & @edwebnet!


2 Free Webinars Featuring Classroom Design Tips
- sign up now to reserve your spot

Webinar I: Redesigning Learning Spaces: Creating Brain-Friendly, Blended Learning Environments

Please join the Alliance for Excellent Education in a back-to-school webinar that is part of its Project 24 leadership series. Project 24 is a systemic planning framework around the effective use of technology and digital learning to achieve the goal of “career and college readiness” for all students. This Google Hangout will explore how classroom spaces can be transformed into brain-friendly digital learning environments. As founders ofclassroomcribs.comErin KleinBenjamin Gilpin, andA. J. Juliani will discuss how the learning environment, including physical spaces, plays a key role in how students learn and how creating a digital environment in such a space can transform the learning process as a whole.
If you are often debating between colors, themes, desk/table set up, and wondering how to design your learning space so it best supports all of your students, this webinar is for you. It will provide information and real school examples to assist in redesigning a classroom into one that considers brain research, gender, and digital impacts on learning. For administrators, this webinar will provide concrete examples of how the learning environment impacts student learning and how a classroom or building makeover may just be what is needed to take student achievement to the next level. Panelists will also address questions submitted by viewers from across the country.
Click Here to Reserve YOUR Spot!



Webinar II: More Strategies for Setting Up a Brain-Friendly Classroom

Presented by Erin Klein, author, parent, and second grade teacher in Michigan

Are you looking for easy and creative ideas for your best classroom ever? Our community’s three-part Setting Up a Wow Classroom series, sponsored by Quill.com, will show you fresh ways to set up and manage your classroom. In this final webinar of the series, second grade teacher and international design consultant, Erin Klein, will share specific examples of creative classroom environments, and how you can recreate them. In her previous webinar, “Setting up a Brain-Friendly, Beautiful Classroom,” attendees requested specific examples of brain-friendly classrooms, what they look like, the purposes of learning spaces, and more. In response, Erin partnered with colleagues around the country and in her global personal learning network to curate a rich portfolio of resources that she will share.  On September 18, she will discuss how to begin the process of rethinking your re-design, give you easy and manageable tips to get started, and show you several examples of thoughtfully-designed learning environments.  Attendees will learn:
  • How to get started with setting your room up for success
  • Simple tricks to make a big impact
  • Affordable ways to set up a brain-friendly space
As a bonus, Quill.com and Carson-Dellosa will be giving away two "Back-To-School" Bundles during the live event.  These bundles have a retail value of $90. Join Erin for this dynamic session and get practical tips you can take back to your classroom immediately!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM (Eastern Time) 

Click Here to Reserve YOUR Spot!




Sunday, September 14, 2014

Are You Future Ready? via @OfficeofEdTech - A Question Kids Deserve!


How Are You Thinking About Educational Design?

- Scroll down to see The Future Ready District Pledge -
*You're Invited to Sign it Today!*

The Classroom Perspective:

As you enter our elementary classroom, your eyes are first drawn to the golden letters that spell READ.  This was intentional on my behalf.  Prior to teaching, I studied Interior Design at Michigan State University.  When redesigning my classroom this summer, I wanted the focus to remain on the foundational skills my grade two students would need yet provide an environment that would encourage collaboration and creativity, while remaining brain-friendly (click here to view my webinar on brain-friendly learning environments).  A great deal of research went into this project.


My students were the ones who inspired me to take the leap into redesigning my classroom space.  I listened to the power of their collective voice and began to hatch out a plan with my class.  The children were insistent upon having comfortable seating arrangements that would allow them to talk with one another and share their ideas.  So, I began to look at the physical layout of the room and research flexible and creative seating options that would allow for maximum seating yet lend itself for rich dialogue to transpire between learners.  We got rid of all of our desks - including my teacher desk (click here to read about this process via my SmartBlog for Education post and click here to read my interview on MindShift regarding the transformation).  Such non-traditional physical changes also facilitated an environment that easily allowed for technology integration in meaningful ways.  

How Does Your Space Allow for Technology Integration and Collaboration
- Watch this 2 minute clip and see how we naturally integrate technology into our classroom!


As a member of The National Writing Project and a Scholastic Top Teacher, I understand the importance of powerful literacy instruction.  However, as the 2014 Technology Teacher of the Year for Michigan (MACUL), I also understand the importance of incorporating STEM, or STEAM, activities into the classroom.  A book that is currently in publication that I have coming out, with a few other colleagues, focuses on taking a closer look at digital writing.  When integrated appropriately, technology has the power to enhance curriculum, engage students, and bring excitement to lessons while personalizing the learning for each student.

I find it most important to make learning fun for the children.  It is my personal goal to have each child wake up filled with such an excitement for learning.  In doing so, I continuously ask my children, "What are you interested in learning?" and  "How would you like to learn?" Then, it's up to me to take our curriculum and standards and artfully craft them into engaging lessons for my students.  I often ask myself, "Would I want to be a student in my own classroom?"  This is something I've spoken about in my keynote presentations as I travel the country talking with fellow teachers and administrators.

A School Perspective:


Our elementary just redesigned our multi-medial lab.  The transformation is quite remarkable.  I wished I had a before photograph to show.  If you could imagine a dark space with brown carpet and docks of desktop computers lining each wall, you would be able to get an idea what our lab looked like prior to the redesign.  Students would face the wall.  Teachers would see the backs of their heads.  Collaboration was not an option.  Now the space boasts a clean, open floor plan with several flexible seating arrangements and an infrastructure that supports the technology within the physical landscape.  

The District Perspective:

As I travel the country, I'm often asked to talk about technology integration in the classroom.  I was recently invited to speak in Australia for the Future Schools Expo regarding reimagining physical and virtual learning environments.  Most recently, I partnered with a superintendent on the west side of our state to do a district redesign of his campus.  His district passed a bond to support a new media-center area along with upgrading additional spaces within the district.  I was contacted because of my design background along with my knowledge of project-based learning and technology integration.  Though I was flattered by the invitation to work on this district redesign project, I knew that I would need to bring a few friends aboard for this initiative.


The bulk of the bond would be applied towards closing in the high school's court yard and transforming it into a "Barnes and Noble"/"Starbucks" media lounge for the students to use throughout the day: before, during, and after school.  After agreeing to partner with the district, it would be my role (along with the team I commissioned), to be the liaison with the superintendent, the architectural firm, and the technology consultation firm.  


The team I put together would be a range of experts in the field of education who each bring a unique skill set to benefit this project.  My first selection was my dear friend and 2013 International Technology Teacher of the Year, Nicholas Provenzano.  Because this project would also require professional development at the high school level, I knew Nick's work with 20% Time, redesigning learning spaces, and technology integration would be paramount to the success of our work.  My next selection would be to bring on our good friend, Thomas Murray, State and District Digital Learning Director.  Tom's experience would be vital to our team's efforts in developing a framework that would allow for our vision to become a reality.  Tom's knowledge would support the back end infrastructure and educational technology design.  

I couldn't be more excited as we work together to collaborate with friends such as James Sanders in developing ideas to propel this district into being a Future Ready District.  



Sign the Pledge - Is Your District Future Ready?

In all the work I'm doing locally and across the country, I'm very excited to see the importance of this being recognized at the national level.  What I love most about The Future Ready District Pledge is that it is all-inclusive.  

The U.S. Department of Education is calling on superintendents like you who lead district, charter, and private schools to join us in taking the Future Ready District Pledge and working to develop, implement, and share your technology plan with other districts so they can learn from your successes and challenges along the way.

So often I feel as though certain projects pertain to only public or only private institutions; however, The Future Ready District Pledge is calling all superintendents and district leaders to take part for the students we serve.  I appreciate how the spotlight is focused on the student rather than any policy or initiative.  As a mother of two elementary aged children, I couldn't be more proud of the direction we are headed.  

I encourage you to SIGN the pledge and 
commit to being Future Ready!  


*click here to read more about being Future Ready*


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BEST Back to School App for ALL Teachers!


Connect with Your Class via Remind

It's never about "the app" but rather what is done with the application that makes it so special.  Seeing how Remind has transformed the way I connect with my class over the past three years makes it easy for me to confidently tell you that this is one of my absolute favorite apps... ever!

#1 Education App in the App Store


Remind is a free, safe way to communicate with your students or your student's parents via text messaging and email.  They never see your number, and you never see those who subscribe.  Simply set up an account and get started.  Remind even makes it simple for you to print off a PDF to send home with kids so that parents know exactly how to subscribe to your messages.  You can even schedule messages ahead of time.  Each Friday, before I leave the classroom, I sit down to review my calendar for the week.  I schedule out all reminders that need to go out.  That way, I don't have to worry about it during the week, and I can focus on my students.  I love how simple it is to use.


I recently had a chat with the founder, Brett, about some exciting new features.  You can also check out their wonderful space in San Francisco.  It's quite the set up!  You'll even see a surprise visit from a fellow Michigan friend.


New Features


Introducing Stamps and Voice Clips
- the following is adapted from the Remind blog - 

We are excited to announce Stamps, a new way for students and parents to provide instant feedback on your Remind messages! With Stamps, you can easily ask questions and get quick answers from your class in real-time. For example, you can find out who is going on a field trip, who is confused about a new topic you introduced, or even, who likes the messages you’re sending.
It’s simple. You send a message to your class, just as you’ve always done with Remind. Students and parents receive the message on the Remind app and can choose one of four stamps to give feedback ★ ✓ ✘  ?. You’ll get timely updates when class members stamp your messages, so you can check the stamps later or watch as they arrive in real-time while in class.

You can also leave 15 second voice clips as messages to be sent.  This is a new feature that allows the teacher's voice, or student's voice, to be heard.  I appreciate this addition the team has added.  For those using Voxer, you already know the power in hearing the sender's voice via message.  What a great way to offer feedback or clarify announcements!  

You can watch the ten minute video of Brett and me discussing the new features - click here!

Lastly, I'd like to encourage you to watch one of my favorite videos the Remind team has published.  This is the story of how the company began... thanks to their amazing founder, Brett.  


Sign Up for Remind Today!

- click here to do so via the web - 




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Structured Guided Reading and Close Reading Portfolio via @snaplearning - LOVE this!


Fantastic Reading Resources for
Guided Reading AND Close Reading
- Click Here to try it out and get 20% off for the Back to School Sale -
A Guest Post by My Friends and Sponsors from Snap Learning!
Normally this would be a blog post about how we love this time of year. It’s Back to School and our biggest sale of the year.
But seriously. Summer is over, and we already miss it.
As a parent, it’s back to rushed mornings and early tempers.
As a student, it’s back to school.
As an educator, it’s back to work.
This blog is for educators who go beyond their classroom curriculum, looking for content and reading ideas to make their lessons more engaging and fun.
So if you’re an educator reading this post we just want to say, we’re sorry your summer vacation is over, but thank you so much for all that you will be doing this year to help your students read better.

To give you a little kick-start, we’re offering a 20% discount on both our SNAP Learning products: Structured Guided Reading and Close Reading Portfolio for two whole weeks (August 18th to August 29th)!
To buy just click here and enter this coupon code: SNAP2SCHOOL to get your 20% off!
CLOSE READING PORTFOLIO
  • Over 105 portfolios written to a specific social studies topic or Next Generation Science Standard
  • Offers a variety of writing forms and genres including both fiction and nonfiction
  • 5-step Teacher Edition Lesson Plan for every Reading Portfolio
  • Reader Tasks and Quick Writes for after reading activities, fluency practice (grades 2-8)

STRUCTURE GUIDED READING
  • 130 books in K-8 content covering history, science, and language arts
  • Built-in fluency, comprehension, and multiple choice assessments
  • Touch and view glossary for complex words, voice over directions and trackable assessments
  • Works on iPads, Android tablets, interactive whiteboards, or the web!
Both products are priced at $89 for 1 license (which can be used for 30 students). Just click here and enter this coupon code: SNAP2SCHOOL to get your 20% off!

Wishing you and your students another great reading year!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

6 Professional Opportunities for Learning More About Classroom Design!


6 Professional Opportunities for 
Learning More About Classroom Design

Back to school is always an exciting time filled with rich opportunities to learn and share with colleagues, grade level teams, and friends in your professional learning network.  Because of the extremely busy time of year, this post will be short and to the point.  Tonight, I'm hosting two opportunities for professional learning.  I'll share that information below (during the Twitter chat, I'll even be giving away two interactive white board systems and a document camera - compliments of the fantastic company, IPevo)!  My first post for the back to school year on Scholastic pushed live this morning, and I'm hosting a NEW challenge on ClassroomCribs.com with two of my dear friends.  You'll have to be sure to check that out and submit your photos or video.  It will be a great collection of amazing classroom spaces, and we'd LOVE to feature your space.  We have thousands of teachers already subscribed, so there will be a BIG opportunity for your had work to be seen by people all over the world.  I'm so excited about this project!


Innovations & Conversations with Steven W. Anderson


Join Steven for the next installment in the series.  This time, I'll be featured - LIVE.  We will talk about creating the ultimate learning environments, how to foster creativity and engagement, and much more!

Tuesday, August 19, 7:00p.m. Eastern

Join in at this link!


#TeacherFriends LIVE Chat on Twitter


Join me tonight on Twitter to discuss classroom design and brain-friendly learning spaces.  The chat is designed to coach newbies in getting their feet wet with how Twitter chats work.  So, the more Twitter stars we also have on the chat, the better.  Plus, the more newbies we have, the better.  THAT is how we build our community - through connecting, establishing the foundations of new relationships, sharing, and networking.  Plus, IPEVO is donating TWO interactive white board systems and a document camera.  We will select the winners during the live chat tonight.  There will be a public Google document sent out and the participants will enter their Twitter handles.  The winner will randomly be selected via a random number generator.  

Time: 9pm Eastern tonight - August 19th 2014 on Twitter
Simply follow the hashtag #TeacherFriends (click here) 


3 Quick Classroom Design Tips


Prior to going into teaching, I studied interior design at Michigan State University. However, after my daughter Riley was born, I knew my love for children was something I had to pursue full-time. So I changed directions and became a teacher. I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I feel so lucky to have a career that I enjoy. For me, teaching often isn’t a job, but rather a passion. I have even been able to use my knowledge of design to help influence the success my students have had throughout the years. 
Many years ago as a first-year teacher, my administrator required all new faculty members to participate in professional development to help familiarize us with the HET (Highly Effective Teaching) Model. We read articles, discussed the research, and worked with certified consultants to understand how to set up brain-friendly learning environments, and design our curriculum to create more meaning for each student. The focus of our training was to create a physical environment that would enhance academic standards and instructional delivery, along with infusing a sense of authenticity into our units of study. I’m excited to share a few tips we learned throughout the course of our training along with findings others have shared through their research.
Click Here to View the 3 Tips and Full Post on Scholastic


Redesigning Learning Spaces: Free Webinar
September 17 at 7pm EDT
- click here to register for free and reserve your spot

Please join the Alliance for Excellent Education in a back-to-school webinar that is part of its Project 24 leadership series. Project 24 is a systemic planning framework around the effective use of technology and digital learning to achieve the goal of “career and college readiness” for all students. This Google Hangout will explore how classroom spaces can be transformed into brain-friendly digital learning environments. As founders of classroomcribs.comErin KleinBenjamin Gilpin, andA. J. Juliani will discuss how the learning environment, including physical spaces, plays a key role in how students learn and how creating a digital environment in such a space can transform the learning process as a whole.
If you are often debating between colors, themes, desk/table set up, and wondering how to design your learning space so it best supports all of your students, this webinar is for you. It will provide information and real school examples to assist in redesigning a classroom into one that considers brain research, gender, and digital impacts on learning. For administrators, this webinar will provide concrete examples of how the learning environment impacts student learning and how a classroom or building makeover may just be what is needed to take student achievement to the next level. Panelists will also address questions submitted by viewers from across the country.

Setting Up a Brain-Friendly Classroom


You can click on the above image or click here to view my webinar hosted through EdWeb from July.   This webinar focuses a lot on the "how - to" aspects.  I invite you to sign up for my upcoming second webinar which will focus on seeing several examples of classroom spaces that highlight brain-friendly learning.  

Second Webinar: More Strategies for Setting Up a Brain-Friendly Classroom
Thursday, September 18 at 5:00pm Eastern

Are you looking for easy and creative ideas for your best classroom ever? Our community’s three-part Setting Up a Wow Classroom series, sponsored by Quill.com, will show you fresh ways to set up and manage your classroom. In this final webinar of the series, second grade teacher and international design consultant, Erin Klein, will share specific examples of creative classroom environments, and how you can recreate them. In her previous webinar, “Setting up a Brain-Friendly, Beautiful Classroom,” attendees requested specific examples of brain-friendly classrooms, what they look like, the purposes of learning spaces, and more. In response, Erin partnered with colleagues around the country and in her global personal learning network to curate a rich portfolio of resources that she will share.  On September 18, she will discuss how to begin the process of rethinking your re-design, give you easy and manageable tips to get started, and show you several examples of thoughtfully-designed learning environments.  Attendees will learn:
  • How to get started with setting your room up for success
  • Simple tricks to make a big impact
  • Affordable ways to set up a brain-friendly space
As a bonus, Quill.com and Carson-Dellosa will be giving away two "Back-To-School" Bundles during the live event.  These bundles have a retail value of $90. Join Erin for this dynamic session and get practical tips you can take back to your classroom immediately!
Sponsored by Quill.com
Co-hosted by edWeb.net and Big Deal Media


Do You Have A Fun Learning Space to Share?  
We would LOVE to Feature you!


Remember MTV Cribs? We thought, what if that same concept of Cribs…met the classroom! From August 14th to September 14th we’ll be running a challenge that anyone can join. Here’s the details:

1. Rethink your learning space with the student in mind. What changes will enhance the learning experience?
2. Redesign your learning space and show us how you did it: Take pictures and video.
3. Create a 3-min “Cribs” video (or slideshow) showing off your new learning space. Include a short rationale for “why” you made the changes.
4. Submit your video/slideshow, rationale, and bio to have a chance to be featured on our site and win great prizes!
There will be tons of exposure to showcase your beautiful space.  We already have THOUSANDS of educators subscribed.  
Be sure to click here to subscribe AND click here to enter the challenge!
In order to subscribe, be sure to fill out the "Want Free Updates?" section on the right!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Guess What... @GoNoodle is Hoppin' - Must Have Fun for Back to School (l.o.v.e)!


Using GoNoodle Brain Breaks for
Motivation and Classroom Engagement

- click here to connect and start having fun - 

**Get a GoNoodle T-Shirt... enter below... scroll down!**

GoNoodle is one of my favorite new sites I've ever shared on Kleinspiration.  I love it for many reasons.  However, the main reason I enjoy sharing this resource with my readers is because my students love it and I've seen the benefits.  Granted, there are many things in life that benefit children, but they don't see the value.  This is different - it's beneficial and kids love it!

What is GoNoodle?
GoNoodle is a free resources anyone can use to encourage a healthy lifestyle in a  fun way by allowing users to participate in brief brain-breaks throughout the day.  

Simply set up a free account (click here) and begin the fun!  Select the video you'd like to move to and begin dancing and making your brain happy!


How does the site work?
Classes get to select a brain-break video from a vast archive of entertaining segments.  Click play and
begin your break.  Once you're video is finished, your class gets to see their "Class Champ" grow.  They simply LOVE this part.



The Class Champ is chosen by your class.  Think of this as your class mascot.  Fun, right?  


Why is this so successful?
From the Teacher...
The research indicates that children need frequent brain-breaks throughout the day.  Some studies have even shown that children need transitions between activities every 15 - 20 minutes.  The reason for this is that as children sit for too long, the blood isn't flowing throughout their body as efficiently as it would be as if they were moving.  Thus, the more children are moving around, the healthier it is for their brains.  Besides, physical activity is an important element of proper child development.  


Though the research supports promoting GoNoodle, I'm a big believer in common sense.  Let me try it.  If it works, then it's a keeper!  Seeing my students start to "zone-out" after an intense lesson, I decided to give GoNoodle a try.  It was a smash!!!  They LOVED it, and so did I.  Instantly, they were able to get their wiggles out, move around a bit, laugh together, and calm back down to refocus for the next academic task.  It was magical.  I especially loved that the entire process (having students stand, finding a video, playing and doing the brain break, and having students sit back down) took less than five minutes.  The gains were tremendous.  

While we did get all of the benefits of a brain-break, we also gained something else.  My students were laughing and smiling together.  This was priceless.  

From the Student... 
"Mrs. Klein, can we do another?" was the overwhelming response after our first GoNoodle brain break.  My kids had so much fun being able to have fun together.  I had fun watching and participating alongside the class.  

They were so motivated to do the academic tasks that followed the brain break.  They felt refreshed and looked to be refocused.  It was inspiring for me as a teacher to see this level of motivation and participation in the lessons that followed each brain break.  I think an added bonus was that we were building community within our class each time we'd do a brain break together.  There's truly something positive to be said for being able to have fun and laugh together as a group.  This made my class so much more willing to  take risks, answer questions, ask questions, and encourage deeper discussions.  They were so motivated in each learning task we did.  


Student engagement was enhanced through the use of these brain breaks as well.  I could tell that my children were more willing to participate, felt more comfortable with one another, and became more confident in the topics we were discussing.  Their focus and attention appeared to be redirected towards the learning objectives and tasks at hand.  Students were collaborating with one another in a more open manner and beginning to push each other's thinking.  They loved the energy these brain breaks were bringing to our learning environment.  


Wow - How Generous of GoNoodle!
GoNoodle is hosting a ton of amazing give-aways for teachers!  I'm so excited to share the wonderful prizes they are offering to each of you.  For Kleinspiration readers, they're giving away a GoNoodle T-Shirt.  You can enter to win below this post!  


Be sure to also HOP ON OVER to Amanda's blog at One Extra Degree.  She's hosting a fabulous prize, too!  Plus, she has a wonderful site that I'm sure you're going to love checking out.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Instantly Message with Parents via the NEW @ClassDojo Messenger App!


ClassDojo Messenger

I'm so excited to share with Kleinspiration friends that TODAY ClassDojo launches a brand new app, ClassDojo Messenger.  This new app allows you to connect with your student's parents with ease, throughout the day!  I found out about this fantastic new app today, via a GoogleHangout with one of the Dojo team members and dear friend, Manoj.  We recorded our chat so that you can hear about all of the awesomeness they have to offer.  You'll also get the added bonus of seeing my little monkey, Jacob, express his immediate need for pizza towards the end of the Hangout.  Enjoy!


You can check out more about ClassDojo Messenger by clicking here to connect to their site.  Additionally, their app is available for iOS devices and Android platforms.  The app is 100% free - so download today and start exploring!






Tuesday, August 5, 2014

3 Ways to Rock Your Classroom Library!

Classroom Library Tools
If you are a Scholastic.com user, most likely you know about Book Wizard and what an amazing tool it is for finding and leveling books. Recently, Scholastic developed a mobile version for the iPhone and is currently working towards a version for the iPad.
Those who follow my blog know that I gravitate towards tools that are free and fantastic. Book Wizard Mobile fits both of these characteristics. After learning about and downloading the app, I was sitting with one of my students doing a reading conference. He had just finished book browsing for a few new selections. As we were discussing the books and getting them checked out to his name, I remembered I had the Book Wizard app. My life was about to get a whole lot easier.
Typically, children look for new books once they've read the ones in their cubby. After they "shop" and pick out their new finds, they have to check them out before putting them in their cubby. This brief checking out conference just means I have a one-on-one with the child to jot down the titles of their books. We discuss the genre of the books and what made them choose that particular story. Each conversation differs slightly. It is a chance for me to keep a record of the books my children are reading and track their interest pattern. I love any opportunity to get to know them better as readers.

 

1.  Reading Logs Made Easy


Since I had the Book Wizard app, I was able to grab my phone and scan each child's book. They thought it was so fancy. Adorable, right? Well, they weren't alone. I thought it was pretty fancy, too. This was one of those moments in my room that would change the way I managed my library. I love when I find a system that enhances a structure in my room to better my practice.  
Now I could select the child's name and have a complete list of the books they have checked out to read. Not only do I have an organized list of the book titles, the information also includes each book's level. At a quick glance, I have so much information at my fingertips. Of course, this system helps me keep track of all the books I own, too.  

 

2.  Search for Books and Save Them in an Organized List!

I was recently at a teaching workshop to learn more about The Phonics Dance. The presenter, Ginny Dowd, is one of the best. I always learn so much from her. As she was sharing strategies to teach comprehension, she would suggest several powerful mentor texts to go along with each strategy and lesson. While those around me grabbed their pens to jot notes onto paper, I pulled out my phone and launched the Book Wizard app.  

3.  Level Your Library in a Click

I've used several sites to help level my classroom library in the past. I would grab a basket of books, log into the site, and start entering titles to search for the book. Now . . . drum roll please . . .
With the Book Wizard app, I no longer have to lug the books over to my computer in baskets. I can be mobile with my device. I just grab my phone and walk around my classroom library scanning books. Instantly, the book and its information display on my screen. Magic!
One piece of advice — I'd caution teachers to remember that the Book Wizard app is brand new. I have found that not all of my books in my library are recognized in the application's system (although new titles are being added). For these books, I still use my traditional system of leveling. What is wonderful is when I order new books from Scholastic, as I unbox the stories, I scan each one to jot the level on the inside jacket. My second graders do not realize these are the book levels. They haven't really ever asked about the writing on the inside. One time I did hear a child tell another student that it must be the code so Mrs. Klein knows it is her book and where to put it back. I like for my students to read books that are just right. I don't like them to select books based on their level. I teach my students to find a book they are excited about based on the plot, author, genre, series, cover, etc., and then determine whether or not the book is too challenging.  

My favorite part is that the app is free! I'd love to hear if you are using the Book Wizard app. How do you organize your classroom library? What system do you use to manage the checking out of books?
Be sure to check out Lindsey's awesome post with tons of tutorials on Book Wizard Mobile. She's great!

Download the Free Book Wizard App Now



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