Getting the Most Out of Scholastic eBooks

Children Reading

If you are like me, sometimes you purchase curriculum with the best intentions of using it, but it just doesn’t happen. This seems to be a common theme when Scholastic runs the Dollar Deals on their eBooks. For the material you get it is really a great purchase…and for only $1 how can you say “no”?! Over the years I have acquired quite a stash of these eBooks. It can be overwhelming sorting through them all and making sure they are used, but I think I have finally developed a way to do this.

This past week I went through all of my eBooks and categorized them by the main subject they are intended for. This was good for me to see how many I had for each subject so I knew when I have enough. I made a document in OpenOffice so I can modify it as needed. Now I can keep up with any new purchases without taking so much time.

The next step was to find the grade level for each eBook. This is a frustrating step because you have to go back to Scholastic’s website and find each book to see the level. Now that it is done I am very happy I did this but just expect it to take a little bit of time.

After my list of eBooks was completed it was time to do some planning. I went through each title and wrote down whether this book is something I would use daily, monthly, on a rotation, or only for a specific time of year (for example, the test prep books would only be used the month before we were getting ready for standardized tests). I printed off my list and wrote these in pencil since I knew I would probably change my mind a few times on some of the books!

The books that will be used daily for school are the type that can be done quickly as a little warm-up for learning. Each child has their own math word problem book in which they will do one problem. Together we will do daily geography, science question of the day, and vocabulary word of the day. I have found it best to schedule these early in the morning. So right after we finish our Bible and devotion time we begin this work before moving on to memory work. It seems to be a great way to get their brains jump started!

Some of the other eBooks we use daily are for grammar practice. Much of our main curriculum choices are very teacher intensive so I like to use the grammar books for some independent work. One child can be working on these worksheets while I am doing another subject that requires teacher direction with another child. I usually rotate these workbooks so that different skills are being practiced.

We currently have a rotation of subjects in our schedule that can be covered one day a week. For example, geography is done one day a week. So we use our eBook that has crossword puzzles about the 50 states since we are currently studying US geography. We also use selections from some of the math eBooks for our Friday fun math day. Since we school year round we take Friday off of regular math and do some fun things including activities from the math eBooks as well as playing math games.

For the books that are scheduled monthly I printed out 12 months of a blank calendar and fill in the books where I want to use them. This method works well for books that cover certain holidays and ensures that the material will actually get covered. I also use this for our monthly idea books so I can jot down special days of the month and activities that go along with them.

I have used several of the Scholastic eBooks in our main curriculum, especially science. In a couple years when we study American history I also have a nice collection of eBooks to use for that. So, yes, I am stock piling eBooks for future study!

To give you an idea of how this looks, here is my list of eBooks and how I plan to use them. The initials after the book listing indicates which child will be using the book. When I wrote “rotate”, that means we will move around between several books to cover different topics.

Scholastic eBooks

General

*January Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*February Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*March Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*April Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*May Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*June Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*July/August Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*September Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*October Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*November Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*December Monthly Idea Book (preK-3) -ALL; scheduled monthly

*50 Learning Songs Sung to Favorite Tunes (K-2) –ALL: memory work

*Data Collection Mini Books (K-2) –ALL: Friday (rotate)

*Big Book of Thematic Plays (1-3) –ALL: Friday (rotate)

*Nonfiction Read & Write Booklets: Holidays (2-3) –ALL:for special holidays

*20 Terrific Mini Plays (2-4) –ALL: Friday (rotate)

*Easy Make and Use Mini-Reference Books (2-4) –ALL: Friday (rotate)

*Mnemonic Songs for Content Area Learning (3-6) –ALL: memory work

*Poems for Teaching in the Content Areas (4 & up) –ALL: memory work

Science

*Sing Along & Learn Science (preK-2) –ALL: listen to during science

*File Folder Games in Color: Science (K-2) –ALL: used in MSB science

*A Year of Hands-On Science (K-3) –C: used once a week

*101 Science Poems & Poems For Young Learners (1-3) –ALL: used in MSB sci.

*Teaching Science with Favorite Picture Books (1-3) –C: used once a week

*Easy Make & Learn Projects: Animal Habitats (2-3) –ALL: used in earth science

*Easy Make & Learn Projects: Weather (2-3) –ALL: used in earth science

*Nonfiction Read & Write Booklets: Science (2-3) –ALL: used in MSB science

*Science Question of the Day (3-6) –All: used daily

*The Body Book (3-6) –ALL: used in MSB science

*Teaching Science: Yes, You Can! (3-6) –ALL: used in MSB science

*Sandwich Bag Science (4-8) –ALL: used in MSB science

*Soda Bottle Science (4-8) –ALL: used in MSB science

*Coffee Can Science (4-8) –ALL: used in MSB science

Art

*Follow the Directions & Draw It All By Yourself (K-2) –ALL: summer fun art

*Art Projects Around the World (1-3) –ALL: used with MFW ECC

*Amazing Animal Art Projects (1-3) -ALL: used in MSB science

*Art Projects with Paper (1-3) –ALL: summer fun art

*Quick Art Crayon Projects (2-4) -ALL: summer fun art 

Math

*Math Word Problems Made Easy (2) –M: daily

*Math Line Designs from Around the World (2-3) –M: Friday Math

*Menu Math (2-3) –M: Friday Math

*Super Sudoku Math: Addition & Subtraction (2-3) –M: Friday Math

*Solve-the-Riddle Math Practice: Time & Money (2-3) –M: Friday Math

*Solve-the-Riddle Math Practice: Addition & Subtraction (2-3) –M: Friday Math

*20 Marvelous Math Tales (2-4) –ALL: one tale per week

*Super Sudoku Math: Multiplication & Division (3-5) –R: Friday Math

*Comic-Strip Math: Problem Solving (3-6) –R: Friday Math

*200 Super-Fun, Super-Easy Math Story Problems (3-6) –R: daily

*Super Sudoku Math: Fractions & Decimals (3-6) –R: Friday Math

*Menu Math (4-5) –R: Friday Math

*Math Line Designs from Around the World (4-6) –R: Friday Math

*Sports Math (4-8) –R: Friday Math

History/ Social Studies

*Let’s Learn Mini-Books: Our Nation (2-3) –R&M: 1 per week

*Read, Sing, & Learn Mini-Books: Famous Americans (2-4) -use next year

*Content Area Mini-Books: Geographical Terms (2-4) –R&M: 1 per week

*Lift-the-Flap Timelines: American History (3-6) -use next year w/ Amer. history

*50 Great States Read & Solve Crossword Puzzles (3-6) –R&M: 1 per week

*Interactive 3-D Maps: American History (4-8) -use next year w/ Amer. history

*Hands-On History: Explorers (4-8) -use next year w/ Amer. history

*Hands-On History: Pioneers (4-8) -use next year w/ Amer. history

*Hands-On History: American Revolution (4-8) -use next year w/ Amer. history

*Hands-On History: Civil War (4-8) -use next year w/ Amer. history

*Hands-On History: Colonial America (4-8) -use next year w/ Amer. history

*5 Minute Daily Practice: Geography (4-8) –ALL: daily

Readers

*AlphaTales (preK-1) -C: daily (rotate)

*20 Sing-Along Mini-Books for Emergent Readers (preK-1) -C: daily (rotate)

*Word Family Tales (preK-2) -C: daily (rotate)

*Sight Word Tales (K-2) -C: daily (rotate)

*My First Readers: Level A (K-1) -C: daily (rotate)

*25 Emergent Reader Mini-Books: Favorite Themes (K-1) -C: daily (rotate)

*My First Readers: Level B (K-2) -C: daily (rotate)

*Folk & Fairy Tale Easy Readers (K-2) -C: daily (rotate)

*Systematic Sight Word Instruction (K-2) –C:used daily as written

Vocabulary

*Daily Word Ladders (K-1) –C:used daily

*Daily Word Ladders (1-2) –M:used daily

*Daily Word Ladders (2-3) –M: use next year

*Vocabulary Word of the Day (3-6) –ALL: daily

*Word Study Learning Packs (3-6) M: Friday

*Daily Word Ladders (4-6) R: daily

*Vocabulary Packets: Greek & Latin Roots (4-8) R: Friday (rotate)

*Vocabulary Packets: Prefixes & Suffixes (4-8) R: Friday (rotate)

Literature Teaching & Guides -*each child will choose at least 1 guide per year

*Teaching Reading with Bill Martin Books (K-1) -C: 1 per month

*Teaching with Aesop’s Fables (1-3) –C: 1 per week

*Scholastic Book Guide: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (1-3) *

*Scholastic Book Guide: Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body (1-3) *

*Better Than Book Reports (2-6) -R&M: use 2 different ideas each per year

*Scholastic Book Guide: Charlotte’s Web (3-5) *

*Scholastic Book Guide: Boxcar Children (3-5) *

*Mr. Popper’s Penguins- Scholastic Literature Guide (4-8) *

*Literature Circle: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe (4-8) *

*Teaching Literary Elements with Picture Books (4-8) –R&M: one per week

Grammar

*Writing Skills Made Fun: Parts of Speech (2-3) M: daily (rotation)

*Writing Skills Made Fun: Capit., Punct., & Spelling (2-3) M: daily (rotate)

*Sequence Practice Mini-Books (2-3) M: daily (rotate)

*Instant Grammar Practice Kids Will Love! (2-3) M: daily (rotate)

*Grammar Tales (3 & up) –R&M: one per week

*No Boring Practice, Please! Funny Fairy Tale Proofreading (3-4) –R: daily (rotate)

*Fill-In Flap Book for Grammar, Vocabulary, & More (3-5) –R&M: one per week

*Instant Grammar Practice Kids Will Love! (4-5) –R: daily (rotate)

*No Boring Practice, Please! Punctuation & Capitalization (4-6) –R: daily (rotate)

*No Boring Practice, Please! Parts of Speech (4-6) –R: daily (rotate)

Testing Prep

*Scholastic Success with Reading Tests (2) –only before stand. tests

*Standardized Test Skill Builders: Reading (3-4) —only before stand. tests

Miscellaneous

*Handwriting Practice: Jokes & Riddles (2-5) R&M: daily

*Logic Posters, Problems, & Puzzles (3-6) R&M: daily

Now I can sit back, relax, and do some printing in anticipation for using all of these great books!

Clipart image used from http://etc.usf.edu/clipart.

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