August 8, 2013

Technology Tip Thursday {Free Online Books}

We all know what an important role technology plays in the classroom. We implement it into our instruction, but why not implement it into our centers too!
I came across a great website last year when I was revamping my Listen to Reading center. I have 3 computers in my room and wanted to utilize them as "read alouds" online.  The trick was finding a way for my students to search for books without having to type in a web address...can you imagine 1st graders doing that? Um, most of them can't even spell uv "of" NO!
Here's what I found:
Sqworl allows you to take many different url's and combine it into one url. Sound confusing??? Instead of bookmarking or saving numerous links to websites, you can save and house all the links on one page. From this page you will be able to access each one individually.
Below is the example of my home page. 
Each morning, all I have to do is pull this site up before we start centers. I have 6 different websites that students can choose from.  If they click on the picture, it will take them directly to that read aloud website where they can choose a book to listen to.

Setting up your own home page is easy and best of all FREE! Once you register, find the url's you want your students to be able to choose from.  Paste the url under "url link" and give it a name under "short description". Click add and there you've got it.  You can add as many websites as you would like. Once you are done, there is a yellow bar across the top which gives you your sqworl website.
{Check out mine HERE}
Here are a few free websites where students can listen to books online.
Storyline Online
We Give Books
 National Geographic Kids
 Read to Me
Do you know of any free ebook resources that I am missing? If so, please comment below letting me know the name so I can add it to my collection!



  1. I think you got everything! I need to add some of these to mine! I just found out about this site the other day and blogged about it!
    Rambling About Reading

  2. Thank you so much for telling us about this resource. I need to set this up for my firsties!

  3. You are a lifesaver! Thank you so much. I am beginning Daily 5 and didn't have anything for listen to reading - no books on tape, no CD's. I do have some old laptops. And now you have pulled me out of the murky waters. Thank you :)
    First Grade Carousel

  4. This is a great idea! Unfortunately for us, when they gave us 3 classroom iPads last year, they took away our 2 classroom student computers. Of course, there is plenty of good (and free!) reading material out there for the iPads, so we can still find great stuff but I do miss my computers! (The internet on the iPads is spotty in my room and cuts out a lot).

    Lindsey at Forever First Grade

  5. I wonder if I can connect this to my school webpage for parents to have access to. Or would that be a not so good idea?

  6. I really like this! I used to do listen to reading using CD players, but that's so outdated now. I was going to ask for old iPods but our computer person said the school is a windows based place and she won't work on Apple products. I didn't know if I would have trouble with it, so I didn't even bother. This is a good solution!

  7. Check out the one by Barnes and Noble.

  8. I didn't know about MeeGenius! I have now pinned it! Thanks! :)

    Diary of a Second Grade Teacher

  9. What a great resource-had never heard of Sqworl before? Definitely going to try that out this year. I like using Tumblebooks-there are a lot of public libraries that carry a free subscription if you Google it-I use Atlantic City Public Library's site.