Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book Creator App

Book Creator iPad App

Though this app costs $4.99, this has become one of my all time favorite apps because of its versatility! There are a ton of different ways this app can be utilized! (The only downside is that though you can view the books on an iPad, iPhone, iPod, or computer, you can only create the books on an iPad.) 

This app is extremely user friendly for people of almost any age.  It is easy to navigate and easy to learn. I have made books to use as teaching tools, have let children as young as 3 help me make a book for the class, and have let children from kindergarten to fifth grade create their own books to illustrate a Bible story or an application to the Bible story.  

With an iPad, pictures and videos can be taken and inserted on the spot. No other programs needed. Sound can be recorded and inserted instantly.  No other programs needed. The children can even draw their own pictures to illustrate something and record their voice telling or retelling the story. Words can either be typed in or written on the page.  It's so simple, my kindergarten students make their own books all the time (by themselves)!  The app has a short and simple tutorial at the beginning which teaches you all the features.

One specific example of how I used this app was making books for my little ones (3s and under) to see in Bible class.  This book was made when we were studying creation.  Here are a few sample pictures from the book I created using this app.  On each page, I included a small speaker icon.  If the child (or adult) touches the speaker icon, a young child reads the page out loud. (In this case, I asked a five year old at our church to read the pages.)


This is the title page.


This is the instructions page.  

On the following pages, I have hidden a sound icon under the nose of each animal so that when the child touches the nose, the child will hear the animal sound.  To make the sounds, I showed one picture to a 3 year old child in my Bible class and asked him/her to make the sound of that animal.  Are the sounds professional? No, but they are absolutely precious! (On some pages, there is a slight delay after pushing the speaker icon.  Children this young don't do things on demand.)  The best thing about this is that we made this in class in about 5 minutes or less.  I can share this book with the parents and grandparents. Each parent can have a copy of the book (their child helped to create) on their iPhone, iPod, iPad, or computer. (I will give instructions on how to share these later in this article.)



When making a book that will contain pictures, either take the pictures yourself or make sure you use pictures that are public domain or copyright free.

My favorite way to share these books is by putting them in Dropbox. If you don't have a Dropbox account, I recommend signing up for a free account at www.dropbox.com.


You can obtain a free copy of my book, God Made Animals, on your iPhone, iPod, iPad, or computer by using the following instructions.  Please do not edit or sell this book.


It's your turn.  Have fun creating your own books!!


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Monday, January 13, 2014

Book from Border


Book Made from Bulletin Board Border

I found this border at Teacher Heaven and Mardel's.  It was a border with scenes from various Bible stories.  I cut it apart and used the binding machine from our church to bind them.  They made simple review books for the children to look at and retell our stories.  If you don't have a binding machine, packing tape would work very well to put the pages together.
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Altoid Tin Creation Game

Altoid Tin Creation Game
Genesis 1











Materials:
  • 1 Altoid Tin for each person
  • 1 frozen juice lid for each person
  • 1 number mold
  • Plaster of Paris and water
  • Different types of scrapbook paper that will match the days of Creation
  • Scissors
  • E6000 glue (or any other glue that will glue a magnet to the plaster piece)
  • 7 magnets for each person
  • Animal, people, and fish (possibly moon and stars as well) stickers for each person
  • 7 colors of Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • something to cover the table that can get messy

Instructions:

A few days before class:
  1. Mix a small amount of the Plaster of Paris according to the directions. Don't mix a huge amount, as it will dry while waiting to be poured into the mold.
  2. When pouring the Plaster into the mold, I prefer putting the plaster in a ziploc bag and cutting of a small portion of one corner. The plaster can then be poured into the mold easily and more controlled like frosting a cake.
  3. After the plaster is dry, take the numbers out of the mold and glue a magnet on the back of each number.  Stick a set of numbers to one juice lid.
  4. Cut out circles from scrapbook paper that will fit just inside the juice lid. Make one pattern and you can cut several at a time.  You could use a Cricut to cut the circles too. Match the paper with what was created on that day. For example, grass paper for Day 3.
  5. For the top of the Altoid tin, we cut a notepad page that looked like the earth.
  6. Place one juice lid with the 7 unpainted numbers, stickers (animal, people, and fish), and 7-8 scrapbook paper circles inside an Altoid tin.

When you get to class:
  1. When you get to class, cover the table with something to protect it such as a trash bag or paper. 
  2. Let the children paint the numbers with a different color on each number.
  3. Let them dry.
  4. Let the children put the stickers on the scrapbook paper they go with.
  5. Play the game.  Have the children put one scrapbook circle on the juice lid.  Have them put the number that matches that Day of Creation.  Make it a race if you wish.
  6. Let the children take them home and teach a friend how to play.
For simple, printable instructions, click here.
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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bible App for Kids

Bible App for Kids

Because technology is the language of many of today's young learners, from time to time I want to recommend some of my favorite technology tools or include some tips on how to use technology either at home or in a Bible class setting.

YouVersion has provided a fantastic free Bible app for kids to use on the iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc.  This app can be used at home or in the Bible class setting to teach children about God.  This app is what the name implies, a Bible story app.  At the beginning of each story is a story title but also the scripture reference such as Genesis 1:1-2:4.  The app currently does not contain the entire Bible but more is being added.

The children are enthusiastic about this app because it contains beautiful artwork and is interactive.  The children can touch on various items in each picture which makes the items come alive.  There is also a game included as a part of each story where you have to search for and collect an item.  This is optional.

One thing I like is the option in the settings menu which allows the user to have the story read to him/her or let the child read on his/her own. I also like the option to turn the sound off.  I would use this in a young children's Bible class and turn the sound off so we could discuss each page.  I would let children take turns touching items on the page to see how they come alive.

I have downloaded several Bible story apps but this one is my favorite.

If you want to download this free app, there are several ways to do that:

Website: bible.com/kids

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