WHAT?! You're NOT familiar with Epic?! If you are a teacher, and you have access to one or more internet ready devices, then there is NO time to waste!
Epic is an incredible online bookstore for teachers (and home use!)
Unlike other bookstores, though... it's all FREE. That's right, 100% FREE for teachers to use with their students during the school day.
As of this post, there are 35,000 books available. Unlike ReadingA-Z (another great resource, but that's another post!) they are actual books that you would see in the library, on Amazon....
For the younger kids, they have read-to-me books where the book is read to the kids, pages turn, words highlighted.... it's pretty spectacular as a listening center! For the older kids, they have audio books of novels - great for those that need the audio version of books.
For everyone in between? There are e-books! Lots and lots and LOTS of ebooks! From National Geographic to Eric Carle books, from Judy Moody to Big Nate. The fact that this FREE resource is at your fingertips is pretty darn spectacular.
Now, you're probably wondering, what's so special about an ebook library? With Epic, you can assign books to kids, you can create collections of books to support different topics. You can create your own comprehension checks, or use ones already made. You can see how long a student actually took to finish a book (30 page picture book in 6 minutes, anyone?)
Set-up is fairly simple, too. You create a FREE account. You get a class code. You add your students. The first time they log-in on any device, you give them the class code. From there, they can access their account at any time during the school day on any device that has the class code! Oh, and it works on iPads, Android tablets, and any web browser, so no excuses!
What? What's that? Home use? I'm glad you asked! Home use is available for parents for $8/month. They often run a summer special, where the whole summer is like $10!
Now, the research is still coming in regarding kids and ebooks, so I wouldn't necessarily use this a lot with the younger grades. In fact, I like to think of Epic as an incredible resource at my fingertips - researching famous people? Check out the biographies. Analyzing non-fiction text? Check out National Geographic.
At any rate, delay no longer - go sign up for your free Epic account!