Hi! My name is Ana Gonzalez and I am a bilingual kindergarten teacher at Kocurek Elementary. I also serve as our Campus Innovation Connector.
This has been the year to BLEND – even with my class of kindergarteners. My proudest accomplishment was making my online reading library in BLEND utilizing the digital resources in our textbook adoption, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH Ed). It took me a couple of weeks to make. The idea came to me when students were just not reading and parents could not figure out how to get to the books on HMH.
I talked with my campus’ Tech Design Coach, Diane Wells, who helped me develop my ideas and gave me some suggestions on how to organize things on a BLEND page. After our conversation I knew I was in for some work but didn’t realize how much work it would be until I started. I truly had to think outside the box because I had to build everything. I made the buttons using a screenshot of each book cover, combined the colors, and looked for the access links. There is a Textbook Access Instructions BLEND course where I found the instructions on how to get to the “deeplinking tool” for each of the HMH readers to place it in my BLEND course. The process itself wasn’t difficult but it was monotonous. The first level readers (level a) were the most difficult because it was my practice set. Once level b and c books came to play, I was a pro and moved along a lot faster. Some days I had to just leave things because frustration would set in. The easy part was linking the Rigby Leveled Readers to the correct image in BLEND to serve as a button.
When my BLEND design project was done, I was excited to share my online reading library with my class but things quickly came to halt. From my teacher’s point of access, I could click to open the links to the books but my students could not. Once again I had to call Diane to see why my amazing work could not be seen by my students. It took us a while but we found out that it was a setting that needed to be enabled on the iPads for students to be able to open the links to the books.
I enjoyed my journey with my online level reader library. I have enjoyed watching my students read books in the morning on their iPads. Even my remote students enjoyed the online library. Sometimes when we would start a new book I would have one student say, “I already read that book!” and then would tell us all about it.
I will not lie and say this was an easy project but I can honestly say that I’m thrilled that it turned out exactly as I pictured it. Next year I will be teaching kinder and 1st grade so I have already started making my 1st grade online library.
BLEND Page of Online Reading Library of HMH Leveled Readers in English:
BLEND Page of Online Reading Library of HMH Leveled Readers in Spanish: