Epic! for Educators - Free eBooks for Kids!

Today's guest post comes from Bridget Visser, 1st grade teacher at Dove Elementary.  You can follow Bridget on Twitter @vissersvoice or on her blog http://vissersvoice.blogspot.com.  



Epic! for Educators is an INCREDIBLE free eBook resource for teachers to take advantage of! You will be amazed at all the choices of books kids are able to read through this app. They earn badges, track their reading time in minutes and hours, track pages flipped, can favorite books, and more. They LOVE it and so do I!

Benefits:
There are so many ways Epic! can help the classroom teacher out! 

  • It is an app you can put on the child’s iPad or use the website.
  • It provides one more way to help children fall in love with reading! 
  • It provides a way for children to log their reading documentation. 
  • The choices of literature are AMAZING!  Many genres at all levels.
  • It allows differentiation in the classroom because you can choose what age group you are interested in reading. 
  • It has books read to you for the emergent readers.
  • It has chapter books of all genres for the higher readers.
  • It has books for all academic subjects!  Easy way to do nonfiction mini lessons in small group reading that seem exciting to the kids!

Directions for how to Get Started:

First, you visit the website and scroll down the page until you see Epic! for Educators.

When you select "Learn More", scroll down until you see this screen. Once you complete this information, you will select Create Account.  My advice: You will want to create an account with a password that all students will be able to have access to use - so nothing personal. :)


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At some point, it will ask you how old is the reader, what are your interests, and you will select what you want to read.  My advice: Select all of them because you never know when one kid will have access to a story another kid does not simply because they selected mysteries and the other kid did not.  

Once you are all in, you will enroll your students.  It will have you enter their name and a Parent’s Email, along with Security PIN.    


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The parent email address is really just to say “Yes, my child can use this at school.”  They will not receive any data or such.  The student will not be able to use Epic! until the parent agrees to this by the email.  It sounds complicated, but it really took less than a day for all of my students to be able to fully use this program!  Another tip: Security PIN makes each student’s reading data secure so that you know they are the only ones using this.  I gave my first graders the 4-digit number in their Google/Apple ID.  This is already something they have memorized, so it is easy.


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You will notice it shows how long they were in each book.  Sometimes your student might decide, they just are not into this book and leave.  Sometimes, you might notice they are only in all the books for a few seconds. Don’t worry, it will not let them “finish” the book if they flip through too quickly.  :)


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A quote I heard on a Monday morning from one of my little firsties, “I want to be a Weekend Warrior!”  The other little one said, “Well, you need to read on the weekend then.”  Badges.  That’s right my friends….competition and motivation that develops the love of reading.  I hear them talking about books they are reading on Epic! and making recommendations to friends!  During any free choice time they may have, I am not surprised to find them huddled in a corner reading a story and laughing!  My own daughter will read a science book or some other nonfiction book and want to talk about the things she is learning.  I knew I found something good when the love of reading meets user friendly technology and is carried home!  

Here are some screen shots my first graders took of the iPad app one day.  I pulled these off of their Google Drive Reading folders.  Can you tell they are excited!?  These little badges keep these kids motivated to want to read at home, on the weekends, and all day at school!  


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