Sunday, June 27, 2010

On-Line Children's Books....It's a Big Universe Out There (Virtually Speaking)

I am forever looking for inexpensive ways to add to my classroom library. Garage sales, EBay and thrift shops have been great places to find gently loved copies of children's classics. I am always amazed at what people will give away or sell for mere pennies! Nothing gives me more pleasure than to acquire a Caldecott or Newberry winner in mint condition and then give it a new home in my classroom. I frequently switch books in and out of the Reading Center and take great pleasure watching my students discover a new title as though it were a piece of pirate treasure. I love to share with them the simple joys of how a book feels in your hands, the way it smells, and the anticipation of a page being turned to reveal a new surprise on the next page.

During the last few years, however, I have come to the realization that my students are experiencing childhood in a much different way then I did. Technology abounds. And abounds. Kids now crave learning experiences that take place on a screen, with brilliant animation that comes alive through the touch of a button or with a flick of a Mimeo wand. It's not enough for my students to hear me read aloud to them conventionally each day. Literacy in my classroom needed to be "bumped up a knotch" to incorporate virtual books, too. And so I began the hunt for sites that featured quality on-line children's books, and boy did I find some great ones!

The International Children's Digital Library (FREE)
Discovery Education's United Streaming (school subscription)
Tumblebooks (school subscription)
Screen Actor's Guild's Storyline (FREE)
Public Library of Charlotte, NC (FREE)
Big Universe (small monthly subscription that includes publishing feature!)
Readeo (small monthly subscription)

Do you have any favorite on-line book sites to share? Please do!

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