Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Maximizing Your Digital Resources to Engage Readers

School librarians play an essential role in developing literacy skills by creating an environment that values and encourages students to read for pleasure. In addition, school librarians are trained to vet, curate, and connect resources to the curriculum for maximum teacher support and student engagement. Even before the rapid transition of virtual learning due to the pandemic, school librarians connected educational technologies to support independent student learning and provide support resources for teachers.

The merging of several technologies to support a learning objective has been referred to as app or website smashing. Two favorite educational technologies to support reading development and reading for pleasure are Discovery Education and TexQuest database resources.

Discovery Education has over 1500 audiobooks available, from classic children’s stories and fairy tales to science fiction and famous poetry to modern young adult favorites. Reading aloud is one effective model for teaching reading that has been found to be effective in increasing fluency and comprehension, especially for struggling readers (Montgomery, 2009). Discovery Education’s audiobook resources help teachers meet the needs of students who benefit from this approach to learning.

TexQuest is a statewide digital resources program that provides anytime, anywhere access to high quality, authoritative digital resources to all educators, students, and students' immediate families in Texas K-12 public schools and open enrollment charter schools. TexQuest has full text eBooks accessible in three TexQuest databases.

Another helpful TexQuest database is Teaching Books. Teaching Books provides resources to support teaching with books. Included are:

  • About the authors
  • Author interviews
  • Book guides, activities & lessons
  • Book readings
  • Vocabulary lists
  • Book & adaptation websites
  • Awards & distinctions
Here are a few app/website smashed book combinations curated just for you! Pair these edtech book resources with the print version in your school library.

Kindergarten - 1st Grade


Discovery Education


Chato’s Kitchen by Gary Soto and Susan Guevara

Chato’s Kitchen Audiobook

Chato’s Kitchen Video with Teacher’s guide and Quiz

Chato’s Kitchen Video (Spanish Version)

Chato’s Kitchen Studio Activity

TeachingBooks Database

These Hands: My Family’s Hands/ Estas manos: Manitas de mi familia by Samuel Caraballo

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Channel

Resources in Spanish Channel

2nd Grade - 3rd Grade


Discovery Education


Geronimo Stilton:

It’s Halloween

You ‘Fraidy Mouse

by Elisabetta Dami


Stilton: It’s


You ‘Fraidy





Sidney & Sydney by Michele Jakubowski

Story Map Activity

4th Grade - 5th Grade


Discovery Education


Goosebumps Horrorland: The Scream of the Haunted Mask by R. L. Stine

Goosebumps Horrorland: The Scream of the Haunted Mask Audiobook

TeachingBooks Database

National Geographic Kids: Animal Zombies! and other bloodsucking beasts, creepy creatures, and real-life monsters by Chana Stiefel

Animals Channel

Insects Channel

  • Gale National Geographic Kids eBook

6th Grade - 8th Grade

9th Grade - 12th Grade


Discovery Education


Top Pick on #BookTok

Common Sense

Education®: Media

Balance & Well-Being




Montgomery, J. R. (2009). Using audio books to improve reading and academic performance. In Online Submission. Online Submission. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED505947.pdf

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