Tips and Resources

Provide Royalty Free Music to Students on a Network, 02/21/2012

Collect a folder of royalty free music clips of various genres and sounds effects for students to access on the network.  It saves so much time if I let them browse through and quickly listen to a few sounds clips before we get started publishing on the web so they can pick the music and sounds they want to add to their story in advance.

www.freeplaymusic.com/; www.soundsnap.com (small subscription fee or make your own with Audacity free shareware audacity.sourceforge.net/).

Submitted by:  Cynthia Cornwell


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Enable the student response area!, 06/27/2011

Many books published to our library ask readers to answer questions. Don't forget, you can enable the student response area on each page and readers can write right into the book. Clicking on "View my responses" opens a document where all questions and responses are collected. These can then be saved or printed. It is a great way to get readers to be active while they read and builds their learning.

Use coaches to build understanding, 03/01/2011

Create coaches that ask readers to think deeply.  Avoid yes/no questions and encourage your audience make inferences and think about the big ideas in your book.

Individualize your Book Builder coach, 01/04/2011

Think about using a student-created picture as one of the coaches in each book.  Using student work, with permission, is a great motivator for kids to stay engaged with reading!

Let music help tell the story, 11/22/2010

Use the audio feature to insert music that sets a story’s mood.  Not only is music engaging to most students, effective use of mood music or sound effects can help students develop skills in identifying the mood in stories.

Clear goals make better books, 10/19/2010

When you create your book, make your goal clear to your readers--and yourself.  Having clear, articulated goals helps keep your book ‘on target.’

Audio, Audio, 09/28/2010

Now you can add up to two audio clips per page.  Record yourself or your students reading the page aloud, and add another clip for sound effects or music. Or record two different people commenting on the page from different points of view!

Be creative with coaches, 09/19/2010

Coach options now include a bot, an adolescent boy and girl, and up to three custom coaches with images of your choice. For read-aloud (text-to-speech) voices, you can choose among 8 English voices, two Spanish voices, and two French voices.

Remember to create a title page, 08/10/2010

Filling out your book information doesn’t automatically create a title page. When you start your book, select title page layout and strut your stuff.

Make your book ‘go places’ with hyperlinks, 08/03/2010

Did you know that you can put hyperlinks in your Book Builder book to lead to anything you find online?  Link to blogs, Voice Threads, videos, images--any resource that has a ‘url’.  See a great example of how one author uses multiple types of hyperlinks in “Lessons on Quadratic Functions: UDL Integrated Approach.

Beyond Definitions - other uses for the Glossary, 07/12/2010

In addition to defining words, the book builder glossary can be used to define idioms or provide additional background knowledge for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

You Rate It, 07/07/2010

Your opinion about the books you read in Book Builder counts!  Use the ‘rate it’ feature to rate books on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.  You can even add comments to say what you like about a book.