Wednesday, October 30, 2013

iBooks Author Reflection for Class Books

After compiling all the students' Pages documents into an iBook, here are some tips that we will try next time for our November class iBook. (This was my first time doing a published writing piece on the MacBook during the fall of 1st grade!)
  1. Brainstorm (with students) a list of words they might use in their story. Then, add the words to a word wall or a pocket chart in the front of the room. Add words as students' ask, "How do you spell spooky?" 
  2. Have the students write out their stories first, and the move on to the typing. This way students can focus on the story and not where the letter "t" is located on the keyboard. 
  3. Once students are ready to "publish their piece" on the laptop, choose a pages template that will format well in iBooks Author. (We chose text page with 1 image on the Visual Report template in Pages, and we chose the Basic template in iBooks Author.) It didn't work seamlessly with this template, so we'll test out a few more before our next class iBook.    
  4. I loved that we had the students choose ONE word to change the font, color, and size. It was also  meaningful to show the students a sample writing piece using the same Pages template. We showed the students what it would look like to make every word a different color. The students were the ones that realized "that looked bad." 
  5. Before students met with a teacher one-on-one or read it to a partner, they highlighted the text, right clicked and chose "Speech." Students were able to complete a quick self-assessment with how their writing sounded. This was beneficial to the student, it but also helpful to the teachers who had less editing to do during one-on-one time. 
  6. To make your class book even more meaningful for your students, use pictures that your students take in the iBook. Students in 1K brought iPods to the Pumpkin Farm (each chaperone was in charge of the iPod), and took a collection of pictures. We used those pictures for the cover of the iBook, and we added a Gallery Widget on the last page of the iBook. 
  7. The district learning management system is eChalk. When students dropbox/submit an assignment in eChalk it automatically adds the student's username in front of the name of the document. ie shannons1234pumpkinwriting. This is a great tool to have when you download your students' assignments because each document has it's own specific name. However, when we dragged the Pages documents into iBooks Author, it named each section "shannons1234pumpkinwriting." We had to delete "s1234pumpkinwriting" 28 times, so that each section was titled by the student's name. ie Shannon 
  8. For November's iBook, we will have the students' Air Drop their writing right after their final one-on-one check in with the teacher. Students will name their document with just their first name. This way we won't have to delete any section titles. The best part is that the Table of Contents is based off your section names, so when you tap "Shannon" on the Table of Contents, it will go directly to Shannon's pumpkin writing page. 
  9. Finally, after the iBook is previewed and exported, I'd recommend uploading the .ibooks file in Dropbox and then post the link on a classroom website. This way anyone with an iPad can tap the link and download onto their device. 
  10. Ms. K plans to share her class iBook on Curriculum Night in November. Parents will be able to read their student's story on 1 of 5 classroom iPads that will be out on the tables. 
Stay tuned for the exported version of 1K's Pumpkin Writing, and please download it on your iOS device! 

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