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Kindergarten Publishing: How-to Books ( Lucy Caulkins writing)

Kindergarten Publishing: How-to Books ( Lucy Caulkins writing)

Author: Amy Salinetti
  • To teach kindergarten student's to communicate their ideas using writing and drawing
  • To use technology in the classroom to enhance students ability to share their written work

Please send me a reply to project and an email address so that I can send a copy of the student work sample, as there is not a place for attaching the file into this form. Thank you Amy


see below for project details

As I studied the applications of devices in the elementary classroom through the Sophia website; the uses of iPad, in particular was immediately applicable to my practice.  I was able to transfer the new information I was learning into my classroom in many ways.
1. I began to use a rubric for evaluating the apps that I have on my iPad.  As I watched students use the apps more closely, it was evident that some apps were much too easy for some students while other apps were reinforcing concepts that I had not intended students to focus on.  I learned that simply because the apps were purchased by my school and marketed as educational, that did not ensure that the apps were effective tools for learning new skills or even for practicing acquired skills.
2. Secondly, I learned of new apps that have proven to be very helpful resources in the classroom.  I have learned to use Evernote, iBooks, Explain Everything and Book Creator with my students.
3. iBooks and Book Creator are the apps that I used successfully in my classroom to meet a need that had previously been a challenge to me as a teacher.  Communication is a large part of our school improvement plan.  Teachers are making commitments to reach out to working parents in new and creative ways to ensure that they can be a part of their children’s education.  And this spring, the format of Parent Conferences changed to a Student Led Conference; which was a showcase of student’s work.  This work included a portfolio of work samples, math games, and science observations and guided reading/writing activities.  Parents and students came to the classroom in small groups and worked their way through centers; students explained their learning and showed their work.  As the teacher, my role was to facilitate and observe the interactions.  One of the highlights in my kindergarten during these conferences was to hear students read their first completed attempt at a book that they had written and illustrated.  Using the Lucy Calkins writing program, I taught them how to write “How To” books.  They were excited about writing to teach someone how to do something they were good at. Students wrote in the typical kindergarten way, using pictures to convey the ideas then adding inventive spelling and short simple sentences to explain their pictures.
• This is where the iPad technologies come into play and where my Sophia PD really helped me figure out a creative solution to a student’s problem.
• The kindergarten class was not ready to make their books digitally, as they really had to go through the writing process with pencil and paper for this first attempt.
• However, one student was upset that her father could not make it to conferences and she asked if she could bring her “How To” book home to read to him.  The writing program has protocols and timelines about keeping student’s writing in their writing folders so they can revisit their work.  Since conferences were also coming up and students were going to share the progress they had made, it was not great timing for taking important writing home.
• While I was reading through Sophia’s info; I knew that I wanted to try Book Creator and iBook and thought this one child’s problem may be resolved using these application tools.
• The student and I used the iPad to record her work, by taking photos of her pages where she had written words and made pictures.  I then imported the photos into Book Creator, where we edited and adjusted the format.  Then I sent the completed digital book from Book Creator to the iBook library on our classroom iPad.  While I was exploring Book Creator, I learned I could have her read her book along with the pages and record her voice.  I was able to then email her “How To” book to her father who was unable to attend the conference.  This student was so proud and excited to tell me the next day that her dad had seen her book on his iPad at home that evening.  Now students in the classroom, also use iBook as a learning center activity and can call up this or any other story to practice listening and reading skills.  A small success maybe…but it had a great impact! I’m glad I tried to apply what I learned to help a student feel both proud and included; without this technology she may not have felt so successful.  
• Since this first attempt; my entire class is now working on “publishing” a pattern book they have each written.  My class just started working in the computer lab weekly and learning how to keyboard and draw digitally. Lastly, I hope to continue to integrate some of these new apps to keep our youngest learners interested in writing and sharing with the world what they know in new and exciting ways!
​​Thank you for the opportunity to integrate the iPad and for the wealth of resources provided on your website.  I have revisited and reread many
​​of the tutorials and I am continuing to learn ways to improve my teaching with the use of technology.
​​Sincerely, Amy Salinetti



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Example Book


iBooks and Book Creator