Sunday, March 1, 2015

FarFaria is Far Out!

What is FarFaria you ask?  Well, let me just tell you it is the most "Far Out" app I've used in my classroom!  A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try out FarFaria.  If you follow my blog, you know that I don't recommend anything that I don't believe in 100%.  I also don't recommend anything that I haven't put to the test myself.  That being said, I am excited to share with you an AMAZING reading app called FarFaria!

FarFaria is a reading app that has over 900 stories available in the digital library.  Each week 5 new titles are added too!  And if that wasn't enough, the stories are leveled which allows you, the teacher, to help students choose books on their level.  In fact, I was quickly able to teach my kindergarten students how to find kindergarten level books that they could read.   FarFaria has such a diverse library too.  You can find books for all reading levels, from Pre-K through 4th/5th grade.

There are so many things that I love about FarFaria I have a hard time deciding where to start.  Probably my favorite feature as a teacher is all the options that it gives my students when it comes to reading.  When a student goes to read a book they are given 3 options: Read by Myself, Read to Me, and Auto Play.  In Read by Myself students are able to read the book on their own.  They easily turn the page with the flick of the finger.  In Read to Me, students listen as the app reads the story.  The student is responsible for turning the pages at the end of each page.  In Auto Play the app takes full control and reads the story and turns the pages.  The best part about the Read to Me and Auto Play features is that as the story is read, the word is highlighted in red.  This allows my kids to not only follow along, but learn new words and concepts like 1 to 1 correspondence.

Here's how FarFaria played out in my classroom.

The first day that I introduced FarFaria I used the AirPlay feature on the iPad and connected to my classroom projector.  This allowed me to show my students the app, how to get to it on the iPad, and how to use the app.

iPad connect through Air Play for whole class introduction of the FarFaria app.

This is the home screen on FarFaria which features some favorite books.
 Once I showed my students how to get on the app, I showed them the Explore feature.  This amazing features takes an extensive digital library and organizes it by topic.  Each topic gets its own island that students can explore.  Here one of my students was selecting the Animal Kingdom island for us to check out as a class.

Once you've selected an island, you are presented with lots of books that fall into that topic.  The kids love checking out all the books that FarFaria has to offer!  Once on an "island" it is easy to find a book and get started reading.  It is on this page that you can you see the book's reading level.  You can even sort by reading level using the sort feature in the top right corner.


As a class we chose to read a kindergarten level book called At The Zoo.  The students loved being able to find a book that they could read independently!

The class was very excited to try FarFaria out on their own.  So we handed out the iPads, selected special reading spots and they got to work.  And in an instant my classroom was silent and 22 kiddos were totally engaged in reading!

Here is a student is making a book selection from the easy to use "catalog."

This student is able to follow along as the FarFaria app reads the story.  

Totally engaged in reading and so is the panda!

Here's one of my reluctant readers that is loving his reading time!

What - a group of boys sitting this close together and not playing or being silly?
Not during FarFaria time!

My students LOVE FarFaria!

The first day, my kids read silently, totally engaged for 1 hour!  Yes - you read that right an entire hour.  I could not bring myself to make them stop.  So instead I used that time to pull kids individually and do some end of the quarter assessments.

The next morning, the first question I heard was "do we get to do the F one again?"  I quickly realized that "the F one" was the FarFaria app that is a book with a letter F on it.  We have used FarFaria almost every day and the result is always the same.  A full class of kids totally engaged in reading.  For the teacher, this has opened up some great quiet assessing time just in time for report cards!

I can fully recommend, without hesitation, the FarFaria app to any teacher or parent!  I even tried the app with my 11 year old son who is a very reluctant reader and he loved it too!  He struggles with dyslexia and reading is just downright hard for him.  The FarFaria app helped make reading fun and he could be engaged in the book using the Read to Me feature without the struggle.  FarFaria truly has something for everyone!

So hopefully I've convinced you to try FarFaria.  If you head over to their web page you can try it out right now for free.  To access the entire library you will need a subscription, but it is worth every penny!  So what are you waiting for - go try it out for yourself!

If you decide to get the FarFaria subscription there are 3 different options.  A monthly subscription runs $4.99 per month.  A year long subscription is $39.99 and I recently saw a lifetime subscription option through the app for $49.99.  You can purchase yourself or gift a subscription to someone else.

Be watching Educents too!  FarFaria is supposed to be a featured deal on Educents very soon.  When I see it I promise to let you know!



Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Sale!


I can't pass up a Black Friday Sale and I love being able to say thank you to all of you!  So from today through Sunday my entire store is 20% off PLUS if you buy 2 items you get 1 FREE! If you buy 4 - you get 2 free and so on!

To get your free item, just follow these steps:

1.  Purchase your items in my TpT store before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 30.
2.  E-Mail me at mrsbiddison@gmail.com with the following information:
     *Your TpT User Name
     *The names of the items you purchased
     *The free item(s) you would like (equal or lesser value of the items you purchased)
3.  E-Mail me by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, December 1.

I will e-mail the free item(s) directly to you by Saturday, December 6 - but probably sooner!

How about a special freebie just for sharing this post!  If you share this post on your blog, via Pinterest or another social media outlet, then leave me a comment with a link to your share and your e-mail address and I will send you a special freebie just for sharing!



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