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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Running Records with iPads & App Review: Levelbook

Levelbook by Von Bruno is a great app for teachers to use when testing their students' literacy. We love that Levelbook is designed, developed and maintained by a professional certified teacher. As of right now Levelbook costs $4.99.

Gone are the days of making copies and carrying around a binder of running records (yahoo!). Teachers now have a tool that combines their basic running record format with a calculator, stop watch features, and the ability to record the student reading and play it back at a later time. We are big fans of this app because it allows us to go back throughout the year and listen to our students' reading progress with our students! We can share these recordings with other teachers who are working with our students or with parents at conference time. The developer has added many great features in the latest update, and through our conversations with him it sounds like there are many more wonderful features to come!

Here are some of the other main highlights of Levelbook:
  • Simple and clean format of this app makes it easy to use and access daily.
  • Cloud storage available now so you can access your student's information across multiple devices.
  • Student's audio and running record information is recorded and saved, along with scores, notes and flags. These can be easily seen and accessed under each student's profile, listing them in chronological order. They are also color coded based on whether that book is considered independent, instructional or frustration level for that student.
  • Students are color coded according to their achievement to the benchmark data that you input. When viewing an entire class you can quickly see who is at grade level or below. See picture above.
  • 5 different reading level systems are supported, inlcuding Fountas & Pinnell (what our district uses) as well as Reading A-Z, Reading Recovery, DRA, Lexile, and PM Reader.You select what reading system you are using when setting up your class accounts.
  • You only need to input book titles and information once. The app then remembers it and stores it in a drop down box for you. You can input all your book information ahead of time, or you can add books as you go. We've done both and are big fans of each aspect of this feature! See picture to the left.



I presented at our district's staff development day on Utilizing Running Records with Your iPad and featured Levelbook during that class. Here is a part of that presentation reviewing running records basics as well a simple how to guide we created for Levelbook. At the very end there is a slide with some of the possible updates coming to Levelbook! As we've said before, we LOVE it when developers take feedback from educators and use it to better their products! 




We've discussed utilizing your iPads for your classroom running records before in our review in Record of Reading, and we continue to encourage teachers to make the leap from using the old fashioned paper route to using a great app such as Levelbook! It will streamline your running records by freeing up time, space and hopefully a little bit of your sanity! Well we can't promise that last one, but know that we've found Levelbook to help us stay organized, portable and minimize the time we spend assessing--leaving us with more time for teaching! Let us know if you are using Levelbook in your classroom! 

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