Summer Reading Anywhere with BrainHive, eBooks On Demand


Photo 495Don’t let the Summer Slide happen!

Research shows that students who continue to read for fun over the summer don’t lose the skills they gained in school before summer break. But it’s not always easy to get to a library or a bookstore over the summer when you are vacationing or playing at the beach!

With the extremely generous help of the Pine Glen PTO, Pine Glen students have thousands of ebooks available to them all summer long through our subscription to BrainHive, eBooks On Demand!

Fourth and Fifth grade students have learned how to access BrainHive on their iPads but you can also use the Android app or the web version.

Accounts for 2nd and 3rd graders are coming soon!

To find out more about how to borrow books on BrainHive over the summer, see the flyer below.


Thank You Pine Glen PTO!

eBooks on Demand with BrainHive!


Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 3.19.12 PMThis week in LTC classes, fourth and fifth grade students are learning about BrainHive–an online ebook library where Pine Glen students can “check out” ebooks to read online or on their iPads. Every time a book is checked out, it charges the LTC $1.  I asked the students, “What can you get for $1?” and most of the answers were things like candy and other stuff at the dollar store. But with Brain Hive, students can read a book for $1! That’s a great value. We watch movies On Demand and now students can read ebooks On Demand! This is a great way for the LTC to provide ebooks without paying for access to the entire collection up front. Click on the bee above for more information about logins and passwords.

First Grade eBooks


Now two years running, one of my favorite projects of the year is creating eBooks with the first graders. These books turn out to be a really great culminating activity for first grade literacy skills, where the students write, draw, type, and record their own complete electronic books. It’s a wonderful way to get an authentic look at the students’ writing skills, artistic abilities, technology skills, and reading fluency.

If you need help viewing these books, please see this post with instructions for both computers and iOS devices like the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Second Grade Culture Projects


Photo 12

This year our really big library and technology project with the second grade was the culture project. Inspired by work shared by teachers at Fox Hill during a Social Studies Curriculum Council meeting, this was an in-depth project involving instruction by the second grade teachers, librarian, and technology specialist. Students researched and learned about one of the cultures their family came from, nonfiction text features, and finding appropriate images online, then inserting those and text into a finished electronic book on the iPad. Many students also used their voices to share some of the words they learned in the language of the country that they studied.

Click on the links below to access the books created by the second grade students!

If you need help viewing these books, please see this post with instructions for both computers and iOS devices like the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Reading ePub documents on your iOS device or Computer


Later this week I should be posting lots of student projects from this year that I haven’t had a chance to post yet!

Many of the projects this year were created in Book Creator for iPad, which creates an ePub file, which is an electronic book format. The advantage of the electronic book format is that it allows students to insert audio and video into their books. The negative is that there aren’t many options for how you can read those books. Up until a couple of months ago, your only option was using iBooks on an iOS device. Now, fortunately, there’s another option on the computer. This post will describe both ways of reading student work created in Book Creator.

iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)

First, you’ll need to download iBooks from the App Store. It’s completely free!

Next, you’ll need to find an ePub file to download. Here’s the first grade graphic novel that I posted earlier this year!

After tapping on the link, you’ll see a screen that gives basic information and gives you a download button that you should tap.

Photo 10

This will bring you to an Open In screen. If it says Open in iBooks, tap that. Otherwise tap Open in… and then choose Open in iBooks from the list that pops up.

Photo 11

iBooks will open up with your new book ready to read!

Photo 9


Computer (PC or Mac)

If you don’t have it already, you’ll need to download the Chrome web browser by Google.

Download the ePub file and save it somewhere easy to find again. I use the Downloads folder or the Desktop.

You’ll then need to add the Readium Extension to Chrome. In order to add it, you’ll need to be signed in to a free Google account.



After downloading, it should create a New Tab on the Apps page. Click on Readium.



Click the Add Items button



Click Choose Files, then find your epub where you had saved it. Then click Add Book. Now you can read your book!



Later this year, Apple will release a new version of Mac OS X that will have iBooks built in, so this is just a temporary measure for reading on Mac. After that it will work much more like iOS.

Go to Top