Last summer while I was setting up my new classroom, I wrote this blog post, searching for input on a great program or app that has audiobooks for kids. I used Storia from Scholastic, but it was expensive and I couldn't justify buying books after a while. I loaded up iPods with audiobooks from the library, but my kids got sick of the same twenty books. My school subscribes to Raz Kids, which my kids loved this year. Raz Kids is nice because it is from Reading A-Z, so I can print the books and resources for my kids for guided reading, and they can read the books on the computer on their own. I still didn't have an app that I loved for centers/Daily Five on the iPad though, because I liked to reserve Raz Kids for my direct instruction and guided reading only. I wanted my kids to have an app they could go on and just explore books with no assignment or guidelines. I also wanted them to feel like it was a game or a reward. Then I found FarFaria! You guys know how much I love a good app and bringing technology into my classroom.
FarFaria is an app for Apple and Android devices. It's $3.99/month and it is TOTALLY worth every penny. I use the iPad app and it's amazing. FarFaria has over 600 books for kids ages 2-9. They add five new books each week. Here are some of my favorite things about it!
When you open the app, this is the home screen. It is extremely engaging and looks almost like a game because of the different "worlds" that you can enter. I love the way they group together the stories because I have some students who love animals, princesses, music, etc. They have favorite worlds to enter and read.
When you click on a world, it filters you to all of the stories that belong in that category. For example, the Animal Kingdom world has all stories about animals- fiction and nonfiction. You can then sort by alphabetical order, reading level, newest and most popular. How cool is that?
You can also browse books by What's New, See the World and My Favorites. "My Favorites" was the best part of this entire app because my school didn't have Wifi this year, but if you favorite a book- you can read it when you are not on Wifi! Woo hoo!
Alright, so here is the thing I was really thrilled about. I strongly believe that eBooks and audiobooks should highlight the words when they are reading aloud to kids. Since my kids are in kindergarten and first grade, this is something that really helps them build pre reading skills. It is essentially the same thing as a shared reading experience where I point to words while I read aloud. FarFaria has the option to read aloud for EVERY story, and it will highlight the words as it reads. You can replay the story as many times as you want.
To celebrate summer vacation and all of us teachers that don't really stop working in the summer (who's with me?!), I am giving away a 3-month subscription to FarFaria for an iPad or Android user on my blog and on Instagram. You can enter below, or follow me on Instagram (@misseager) and share my photo! I will choose a winner on Saturday, July 12th. Have a great day, friends!