By Beth S. Pollak
Worried about literacy instruction as your school launches online learning? Concerned about building a classroom community from a safe social distance?
This fall, there is a new solution for teachers to keep students engaged during reading activities. Caribu is excited to announce the launch of its new web platform that allows you to read children’s books page-by-page with your students while you teach classes online. With Caribu, you can build a culture of reading in your classroom even during this time of social distancing.
Caribu’s new web-based platform will allow you to open and read books on your computer as you teach lessons with Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other video calling platforms. This makes it simple to share read alouds, facilitate guided reading, and have book discussions with groups of children large and small.
Best of all, when you sign up as a teacher, your subscription will be FREE for the 2020-2021 school year. Visit www.caribu.com/education to sign up and learn more!
Expand Your Classroom Library With Unlimited Access To High-Quality Books
With your Caribu Teacher’s subscription, you will have unlimited access to Caribu’s extensive in-app library of engaging children’s books and activities. Find your students’ favorite stories and browse new and notable books to share.
Use Caribu books as a starting point for discussions about social and emotional learning, friendships, community, anti-racism, and social justice. Delve into science with non-fiction books on topics like space, dinosaurs, transportation, animals and ecosystems. Spark imagination with superhero stories, animal adventures, and magical fairytales, old and new.
Choose texts and topics that match your students’ literacy goals, and differentiate your instruction by selecting books with varying levels of complexity. With free and unlimited access, you also can incorporate Caribu’s entire collection of learning activities, including Word Searches, Matching Games, Sudoku, Origami, coloring pages and more.
Getting Started With Caribu Read Alouds And Literary Circles
It’s easy to use the Caribu web platform in your virtual classrooms!
- Pick a book to read with your students.
- Share your screen, and show your students the book cover. Begin your lesson and introduce main ideas and guiding questions.
- With a simple tap, open the book online, show your students the pages, and invite them to read along with you! Swipe each page to read through the book and discuss the text together. Use your pointer tools to emphasize key words and phrases.
Support ELA Reading Goals
You can use Caribu in your video conferences to support classroom reading goals with read alouds, guided reading, and literacy circles. Select books by grade level or by subject area so that kids can access age-appropriate texts of interest. When students see and hear the text aloud with illustrations, it will make your online literary circles more interactive and multi-sensory. This will grab students’ attention, differentiate your instruction, and enhance student comprehension and skills.
Build A Community And Culture Of Reading
Build community with your literacy circles when you invite students to read books with Caribu. Teach important literacy concepts in an interactive group forum, and review vocabulary and ideas. Make time for students to ask questions, and launch discussions that provoke kids to reflect and share. Use the virtual space to practice accountable talk prompts that will help students deepen their conversations and demonstrate respect for one another’s ideas.
Share The Caribu App For Independent Reading
With the Caribu app, kids can access thousands of engaging texts and activities in a safe and secure platform. They can build their literacy skills and have fun while reading and playing together! Share Caribu with your students so they can download it to their home devices. Kids can open the app to read together in pairs or with a trusted adult using Caribu’s in-app video calls. Assign student reading partners, and build a culture of reading among peers and family members. Caribu is the only children’s reading app that allows kids to connect with others and share their learning in a virtual playdate across all mobile, tablet, and web platforms.
A Safe And Secure Space For Reading
When you assign activities using Caribu, you can feel safe and secure using the app with kids. Caribu’s safety settings require parents or guardians to approve all contacts, and Caribu Calls are encrypted for privacy. The “parent gates” in the app are designed so that only adults can adjust the app’s settings. Families get 15 free experiences a month to enjoy in a Caribu Video Call, so kids who download the app can read and learn together with a reading partner at no extra charge. For unlimited access to the library, families can choose to subscribe at an affordable rate. There are no extra in-app purchases required during Caribu Calls, so kids can focus on connecting with peers and loved ones, and enjoying their learning experiences.
Excitement That Extends Beyond The Classroom
For continued learning outside of class time, Caribu is the perfect tool for nurturing a love of reading among your students and their families. Build community by assigning reading partners among classmates, and switch off every few weeks. Encourage students to use Caribu to read daily with parents, guardians, and other family members, especially if they are living or working at a distance. Invite kids to connect with relatives like grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in a Caribu video-call so they can read, play, and enjoy together too.
During this time of social distancing, it’s more important than ever for family and friends to connect from near and far, and Caribu video-calls provide an ideal way to create magical moments, disrupt isolation, and launch meaningful conversations. Consider creating a weekly “Grandfriends Day” or “Aunts and Uncles Afternoon” for kids to plan and share their reading together with their loved ones.
Reading Conferences From A Safe Social Distance
Teachers also can use Caribu to assess students’ reading growth from a safe social distance. Conduct your reading conferences in a Caribu video-call, and observe as students read and follow the text. Take notes for your running records and identify areas of growth and challenge in students’ reading skills. Practice learning vocabulary in context, and help students with difficult words and reading concepts. Use your Caribu conference time for personalized questions and conversations, and share ideas and reflections about books.
Stories That Surprise And Delight
Caribu provides thousands of books and activities in an easy-to-navigate library. Pick by grade level or topic to read about subjects like dinosaurs, space, families, plants, animals, and more. Choose introductory texts from publishers like Baby Einstein, Creative Teaching Press, and Languages 4 Kidz, or try some more challenging books for older students.
Read books that include important life lessons, like Thomas and FriendsTM, Storybook Genius, Be Books, the Alycat Series, Usborne First Experiences, and Lucy Tries. Explore Caribu’s Anti-Racism category to launch meaningful discussions about inclusion and bias. Browse through the new ‘Social and Emotional Learning’ category to find stories that support kids’ feelings, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Get to know wildlife in books like Animal Tricksters, and learn about history in Caribu’s large selection of Highlights books. Plus, you can find classic fairy tales, sing-along nursery rhymes, and many favorites old and new.
For Your Classroom Supply List
Make sure you add Caribu to your classroom’s supply list for this school year! Use the link to download here, and add it to your classroom’s webpage. Families can check Caribu’s FAQ or contact Caribu if they need support to install the app and get started.
Beth S. Pollak is a writer and educator based in California. In addition to working with Caribu, she consults with educational organizations and EdTech companies. Beth has worked as a teacher and journalist in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. She holds degrees in journalism, bilingual education, and educational leadership. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, picnics, and dance.