I found a new organization app that I am LOVING!  It's the BookBuddy Pro app.

A few years ago I found a book organization app that I loved.  And over the past six months I've noticed that it just wasn't behaving like it used to.  It wouldn't allow me to add more books and it kept freezing.  Then I did some research and realized that the app no longer works with the current updates to my iPhone.  In fact, the app isn't even available in the App Store anymore.

So the search began for a new app to organize and keep track of my read aloud books.  I love having all my books stored in my iPhone.  It makes it so much easier to plan at home when I can just look up a book on my phone instead of searching through my books at school.  If I'm teaching about main idea, I can just search my app for the books I use to teach that skill.  Another bonus is that I know which books I already have.  Ever buy a duplicate because you didn't remember you had the book begin with?  Not anymore!  Just check your phone and you'll know if you already own it!

After reading a ton of reviews about the countless apps out there to catalog your books, I found BookBuddy Pro!  It is so much more amazing than my last app (which shall remain nameless).  Totally worth the $4.99 I paid for it.  Money well spent.

This is how I organize my read aloud books at school.  Using a file cabinet is super convenient and I can easily see what I have.  I have folders for months, holidays, character education, mentor texts, life lessons, and folders for my favorite authors.  Now all I needed to do was scan in my books and get organizing!  (This part takes a little while but it is so worth it!)

Here is a screen shot of what it looks like when you open up the BookBuddy Pro app.  See how you can keep track of who you loan books out to?!  Very cool.

Here's a quick shot of a few of my books.  I love that the pictures come up.  To add your books, you can scan the barcode on the back.  An awesome feature is that you can scan multiple barcodes so you just hit one after another, after another and you don't have keep hitting "add book."  It makes the initial inputting of your books so much quicker!

Almost all my books were already in the BookBuddy Pro system.  There were a few that I had to add manually, but most just popped right up after scanning the barcode.

There are different ways you can sort your books to view them.

I like to sort my books by "Physical Location" which is where I put what folder my books are stored in within the file cabinet.  It's great to be able to see all the Christmas books I have, or all the Kevin Henkes books I have.

I also "Tag" my books with a specific teaching skill or skills that I might use the book for.  Throughout the year I tag more books as I read them, identifying other skills I might reread the book for.  It's so easy to customize the app to meet your specific needs.

When you click on a book title you can get all the information about that book.  You can see that this book is stored in the folder "Life Lesson" in my file cabinet and that I like to use it when I teach about making connections.

Those Shoes is one of my all time favorite books.  It's stored in my "Mentor Text" folder in my file cabinet.  I use it when I teach about character traits, making connections, and predicting.

This app has saved me so much time when I plan.  If you're looking for a way to keep your books organized, I highly suggest you check this app out!  Happy organizing!!!

Every year we learn about "how-to" writing.  We write pieces such as "How to Make a PBJ Sandwich" or "How to Brush Your Teeth" or "How to Build a Snowman."

This year we took our how-to writing to the next level.

We used our knowledge of step-by-step direction writing to program a robot!

Our district has two robots that were purchased mainly for high school students to learn programming.  We were fortunate enough to be the very first elementary classroom to get a chance to work with the robot!

When I announced that we would be having a special visitor that day, my kiddos NEVER expected this guy!

My firsties were so excited when the robot started moving and talking!

Mr. Z showed us how to program the robot.  The software is not exactly designed for six and seven year olds, so I was a bit apprehensive that they wouldn't be able to figure it out.  I was so wrong!!!
They were able to program the robot to stand, walk, and even spell.  They had to be sure to pay close attention to each step, so that the robot could follow their directions.  Just like in our how-to writing, if they left a step out, the robot would not do what they wanted it to.

Look at that concentration!  They were all so engaged and excited.  I was so impressed with how they worked together, took turns with the computer, and shared ideas.

The robot showing off his dance moves!

We can't wait to invite our robot back again!

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