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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Recommendation: Storybird for intensive writing

Recommendation: Storybird for intensive writing

Related Tags: Classroom Technology
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I want to share my excitement about using Storybird with my 1st graders. It is a free website that allows students to choose pictures and write stories to create online "books." Teachers set up classes and manage the accounts. You are allowed 35 students for the free account. You can upgrade to a paid version to allow additional features.

I am the tech teacher. While the classroom teacher does guided reading with the other reading groups, I take a small group to the computer lab. The kids just love it. They are very motivated to write, and it reinforces many skills they are learning - initial capitals, ending punctuation, etc. It also reinforces sequencing the story : beginning, middle, end. I could also envision using it to write a collaborative story with the whole class on the smart board. You can also choose to write poetry.

We find there is a little quirk with the cursor while you're writing, but it's easily overcome. Also, as usual, everything takes longer than you expect but the results are terrific. Here are some samples from my 1st graders:

Bella: "The Lost Puppy" http://storybird.com/books/the-lost-puppy-82/?token=3xxdtxutt7

Ava: "The Dogs in Love" http://storybird.com/books/the-dogs-in-love-2/?token=cm6pfa58ct

Julia: "The One Special Family" http://storybird.com/books/the-one-special-family/?token=8my7tfybnj

Aren't they fun?

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Jane Allison's picture
Jane Allison
Computer Technology Teacher

Forgot to mention... The kids wrote the whole story using their own spelling. When they were finished, I went over it with them and they fixed spelling and formatting.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Community Manager at Edutopia
Staff

Jane, it's great that you were able to find a program that worked for you, and yes, the stories are just adorable. :-)

Jane Allison's picture
Jane Allison
Computer Technology Teacher

Thank you. I'm still looking for a program for my kindergarteners that would allow them to draw the pictures. Edutopia members offered many good suggestions, but most were for the ipad. I need something web based.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Community Manager at Edutopia
Staff

If you find something that works, please let us know too. It never hurts to have another tool in the toolbox. :-)

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia
Facilitator 2014

Hi Jane,
Not sure if this would help, but would Google Apps work for you? I've used it for collaborative writing with older students, complete with pictures and things for our Write a Book in a Day competitions. It might take a bit of fiddling as opposed to Storybird...

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