Maximizing Your Digital Resources to Engage Readers

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School librarians play an essential role in developing literacy skills by creating an environment that values and encourages students to read for pleasure. In addition, school librarians are trained to vet, curate, and connect resources to the curriculum for maximum teacher support and student engagement. Even before the rapid transition of virtual learning due to the pandemic, school librarians connected educational technologies to support independent student learning and provide support resources for teachers. 

The merging of several technologies to support a learning objective has been referred to as app or website smashing. Two of our favorite educational technologies to support reading development and reading for pleasure are Discovery Education and TexQuest database resources. 

Discovery Education has over 1,500 audiobooks available, from classic children’s stories and fairy tales to science fiction and famous poetry to modern young adult favorites. Reading aloud is one effective model for teaching reading that has been found to be effective in increasing fluency and comprehension, especially for struggling readers (Montgomery, 2009). Discovery Education’s audiobook resources help teachers meet the needs of students who benefit from this approach to learning.

TexQuest is a statewide digital resources program that provides anytime, anywhere access to high-quality, authoritative digital resources to all educators, students, and students’ immediate families in Texas K-12 public schools and open-enrollment charter schools. TexQuest has full-text eBooks accessible in three TexQuest databases.

  1. EBSCO eBooks K-8 Collection
    Full text, simultaneous access e-books to support grades K-8.
  2. National Geographic Kids
    Fun, substantive content takes kids 6-14 on adventures in science, nature, culture and space.
  3. ProQuest SIRS Discoverer
    News, magazines, and websites for K-8.

Another helpful TexQuest database is Teaching Books. Teaching Books provides resources to support teaching with books. Included are:

  • About the authors
  • Author interviews
  • Book guides, activities & lessons
  • Book readings
  • Vocabulary lists
  • Book & adaptation websites
  • Awards & distinctions

Here are a few app/website smashed book combinations curated just for you! Pair these edtech book resources with the print version in your school library.

Kindergarten – 1st Grade

BookDiscovery EducationTexQuest
Chato’s Kitchen
By Gary Soto and Susan Guevara
Chato’s Kitchen Audiobook
Chato’s Kitchen Video with Teacher’s Guide and Quiz
Chato’s Kitchen Video (Spanish Version)
Chato’s Kitchen Studio Activity
TeachingBooks Database
These Hands: My Family’s Hands/ Estas manos: Manitas de mi familia by Samuel CaraballoCelebrating Hispanic Heritage Channel
Resources in Spanish Channe
eBook Full-Text PDF
TeachingBooks Database

2nd Grade – 3rd Grade

BookDiscovery EducationTexQuest
Geronimo Stilton: It’s Halloween You ‘Fraidy Mouse by Elisabetta DamiGeronimo Stilton: It’s Halloween You ‘Fraidy Mouse AudiobookTeachingBooks Database
Sidney & Sydney by Michele Jakubowski
Story Map ActivityeBook Full Text PDF
TeachingBooks Database

4th Grade – 5th Grade

BookDiscovery EducationTexQuest
Goosebumps Horrorland: The Scream of the Haunted Mask by R. L. StineGoosebumps Horrorland: The Scream of the Haunted Mask AudiobookTeachingBooks Database
National Geographic Kids: Animal Zombies! and other bloodsucking beasts, creepy creatures, and real-life monsters by Chana StiefelAnimals Channel
Insects Channel
TeachingBooks Database

6th Grade – 8th Grade

BookDiscovery EducationTexQuest
The First Rule of Punk
By Celia C.Pérez
Story Map Activity

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Channel
TeachingBooks Database

9th Grade – 12th Grade

BookDiscovery EducationTexQuest
The Wrath and the Dawn
By Renée Ahdieh
Common Sense Education®: Media Balance & Well-Being
TeachingBooks DatabaseTeachingBooks DatabaseTeachingBooks Database

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