I have blogged about the Book Creator app before, but have learned how to print our iBooks this week, so thought I would dedicate a post to them. I know printing is not the point of them, but until we are at the point where our children have their own Dropbox or wiki spaces it's the only way they get to keep their work.
They look great! Each book has between 5-9 pages and my year twos have been using all sorts of wordprocessing/publishing skills. They worked to success criteria that they generated and I typed for them. This helped them be independent and largely successful.
If you do plan to create these yourself, make sure you allow enough time. Written pieces might be produced over a couple of lessons, with maybe a little extra time for additional research. These books were the culmination of almost 6 lessons! We used guided reading sessions to research facts from a range of sources: information books, print outs and internet research. For the latter, essential digital literacy skills were reinforced, such as reliable sources and checking facts.
We learned about the features of non-fiction books and also practised note-taking skills so that their writing would be in their own words. You also have to take into account that typing is slow due to lack of keyboard familiarity and editing can be disastrous. Children have accidentally deleted work, then forgotten about the back button. I truly believe they need to experience this (making mistakes and 'breaking' things) to learn effectively. The emotional disappointment of losing work, then remembering they can retrieve it is fab!
As you'd expect, the stronger writers wrote more complex sentences, but they all experimented with layout and formatting. I'm dead chuffed! You can see their work on the class blog and check out the learning@home pages too - some children took their skills home with them (more pics will be added soon). Perfect!