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MCT ibooks questions

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Has anyone here bought any of the MCT ibooks?

 

I'm specifically looking at the Town level: Grammar Town, Practice Town, Caesar's English 1, and possibly Paragraph Town. I noticed that for the Practice book, the TM isn't necessary because of the interactive nature and "check" feature it contains.

 

If you have used any of the ibooks, how have you and your children liked them? 

 

Did you also buy the TM for any of the student books you purchased?

 

 

I live overseas and, therefore, the ibook format is very appealing. However, I would like to know that it is worth it and if so, which TMs I would need to purchase. My son loved the Island level and is begging for Town this coming year.

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I have not bought the iBooks yet, but I plan to do so for next year. We will be doing Island level.

 

It appears that there are no teacher manuals to correspond with each of the student books if you use iBooks. Instead, there is an Implementation Manual that combines all of the teacher guides into one, with discussion questions, activities, and test answers.

 

You can download a sample for each book. One of the samples I looked at had a few pages with a link to audio from Michael Clay Thompson. I thought that was a good feature. One downside to the iBook format is you won't be able to sell it when you are finished.

 

Hopefully someone who has used the iBooks will respond.

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I've started buying these iBooks now and I'm really pleased. The student completes the work directly in the ibook, sometimes by typing but often by dragging words around. I really like how interactive it is. I plan to get the full island level as iBooks for this coming year and not bother with paper copies.

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Thank you Eagle. Did you get the Teacher Implementation Manual? Does it indeed have all the Teacher's Manuals or just the extra tips, discussion, and stuff?

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I do have the Implememtation Manual for level 1. I have never owned a paper copy of the MCT books, so it is hard to compare them directly. It does have a chapter for each book: 15 pages for Grammar Island, 16 pages for Building Language, 6 pages for Practice Island, 40 pages for Sentence Island, and 27 pages for Music of the Hemispheres.

 

I think I heard before that the Grammar teacher and student books were almost the same except the teacher book had extra sentences on some pages. (I seem to recall some people only bought the teacher book and then used sticky notes to cover all the teacher notes.) In the Inplememtation Manual there are three pages for Grammar Island that list page numbers and notes for those pages. For instance, "Page 6. Remind students that sentences do not occur in nature. Language comes from us; it is ourselves, in words." There are 25 notes like this listed for Grammar Island. In addition, the Grammar Island section has two games (which apply more to a classroom), a page on emphasizing patterns, a page outlining the key to explaining the four levels of grammar, a page on techniques for applying four level analysis, and then 40 extra sentences for analysis (just the sentences, not answers).

 

Building Language is similar: it gives a list of page numbers with notes, several pages directed towards the parent/teacher, and a list of roots and definitions.

 

The Practice Island section is short and mostly describes how to use the ibook since it is interactive.

 

Sentence Island contains a list of page numbers with notes again as well as six chapters about Mud: Mud's Two Sides, Mud Thinks about Doing and Being, Mud Learns to Agree, Putting Mud in Place, Mud Gets Deep, Mud Hears Sentences.

 

Music of the Hemispheres lists page numbers and notes as in the previous sections, gives several pages of explanation to the teacher/parent, and gives an example poem for different topics (eg. Rhyme, Meter, etc.) with a list of things to discuss for each one.

 

Many of the books also contain pre and post tests, and those answers are listed in the Implementaion Manual.

 

Hopefully you can compare this to the paper Teachers Guides you have for level 1. I would be interested to know how similar the iBook manual is to the guides.

 

I have read through the whole Implementation Manual and am really looking forward to starting MCT Island next year. It is so tempting to start now! It looks like an excellent program and I know ds will love it.

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Thanks again! Last year we used just the Teacher's Manuals, except Practice Island. We would sit on the couch and read through it together taking the time to stop and discuss the extra bits on the page. I really liked that. The iBook format for the student books is very nice. I was able to download a few samples. I'm sure my son will like the interactive features.

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I can only get it to show one full page at a time. By hitting the button at the top that looks like a list I can show six little pages at the bottom for easier navigation.

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Do you think I could use the digital iBooks implementation level with the paper student books? Or is it very specific to the iBooks? I would love to have all the teacher and student manuals individually, but it is very costly. However, I prefer my children have a book in their hand for their studies at this age.

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I don't have a paper one to compare it to, but I'm guessing it is specific to the iBooks. It gives page numbers which are probably different. If there is someone who has the paper teacher manuals perhaps they could compare what I wrote in post 5 to see if it aligns?

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While everyone is here... I would love to know if anyone has the Mud trilogy in iBook form, and if so, if you can change the text size to a larger font size.  I purchased Mud in iBook form a year or two ago specifically because I struggle with small print due to a visual impairment.  The text, however, was not adjustable.  I returned the iBook and the customer service rep (apple, not MCT) sent what was probably a standard email saying they would work on the problem.  

 

So I'm curious if the text can now be enlarged or not.  

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While everyone is here... I would love to know if anyone has the Mud trilogy in iBook form, and if so, if you can change the text size to a larger font size. I purchased Mud in iBook form a year or two ago specifically because I struggle with small print due to a visual impairment. The text, however, was not adjustable. I returned the iBook and the customer service rep (apple, not MCT) sent what was probably a standard email saying they would work on the problem.

 

So I'm curious if the text can now be enlarged or not.

I have the latest version and the text is not adjustable.

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I have not bought the iBooks yet, but I plan to do so for next year. We will be doing Island level.

 

It appears that there are no teacher manuals to correspond with each of the student books if you use iBooks. Instead, there is an Implementation Manual that combines all of the teacher guides into one, with discussion questions, activities, and test answers.

 

You can download a sample for each book. One of the samples I looked at had a few pages with a link to audio from Michael Clay Thompson. I thought that was a good feature. One downside to the iBook format is you won't be able to sell it when you are finished.

 

Hopefully someone who has used the iBooks will respond.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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We've used the iBooks version, all of Island level, for similar shipping reasons (to Spain) and loved them. Occasionally, very occasionally, there is a glitch, but RFP have been ironing these out swiftly. My son, age 8, really enjoyed the interactive component. I sat with him through all lessons to discuss. The materials are rich. No need, in my opinion, for teacher manual or paper copy.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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While on this topic...I'm doing Grammar Town with my 2 5th graders this year. I have the paper copy for all the teacher manuals, do I need the Student copies? I know I will probably need them for the Practice town book but what about all the others?

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OP here. I decided to come back and review this past year with the MCT iBooks we used. We ended up purchasing all these in iBook form: Grammar Town, Practice Town, Paragraph Town, Caesar's English 1, and the implementation manual. I didn't do the poetry book because I felt the Island level book was a little over his head the year before and thought we would go over that this past year again.

 

So, what we did like about it:

It did not need to be shipped and I didn't have another several books to juggle with.

The texts look nice with iBooks and appear to be very similar to the actual text.

The interactive components were really nice. My son found them helpful and interesting, a bit of a change of pace and no pencil required. 

The Practice Town he could do almost by himself (except asking me on hard ones) and the answer check was right there for him to see as he finished each section with a general review at the end.

He got to use the ipad. 

 

 

What we did not like:

It was very annoying and frustrating to only see one page at a time. Especially in the CE book with all the nice pictures. These books in print are designed to have pages flow together with the pictures and illustrations and this does not transfer well to the iBook. While we were reading in Paragraph Town there were times the book would reference something on the facing page but we couldn't see it because only one page viewed at a time.

Technical glitches. Often we would have problems in Practice Town after he would complete one level analysis and it would "stick". He would have to start the sentence all over again. A couple times we couldn't do the interactive parts with the sentence at all. The CE review quiz at the end of each chapter would not save his typed answers. We had to do them orally because he couldn't type through the whole quiz and then check it or hand it to me to check it because after you moved to the next page everything he typed before was gone.

CE just did not go well for us with an iBook. He found it hard to continually review the stems and such in the iBook. I had him start a notebook with all the stems, words, and definitions, which was good for him. But we just felt the CE in the iBook form was not optimal for him. 

I did not find the implementation manual to be that user-friendly. I understand why they did it the way they did. However, the teacher should have their own device to read the manual while going through the material. \

 

In all, there were some good things about the iBooks. Despite the technical glitches, I would recommend the Practice books as an ibook. For CE, I wouldn't be keen on it.  We have one iPad and I don't like to have my computer open during school time because it is a distraction (for me!). I also have a few other kids that I am teaching and I just didn't feel that the iBooks were that great a fit for my teaching situation. I also realized that we both preferred to have the actual text in front of us. 

 

Since we are in the States for a little bit this summer, shipping isn't an issue and we have a lot of luggage space on the return. For this coming year I am looking at purchasing the books in print, except for Practice Voyage. If I wasn't in the States this summer, I would only purchase CE 2 in print as I just felt that the iBook was not good for us. GV and EV would be nice to have in print too, but I could live with them as an iBook. (And shipping is a pain.)

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Thanks! How irritating! I wish they would release to kindle, at least some of the books!

not sure if Kindle does dynamic books? These have interactive parts (like doing the sentences analysis right there in the book). Does Kindle do stuff like that?

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While on this topic...I'm doing Grammar Town with my 2 5th graders this year. I have the paper copy for all the teacher manuals, do I need the Student copies? I know I will probably need them for the Practice town book but what about all the others?

You could just put the practice sentence on a board or type them out and have kids do them on their own. With Paragraph Town and Grammar Town it's not a big deal to cover up the sentence analysis segments with a piece of paper. For CE you may wa t student copy. I haven't used the town level poetics book.

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not sure if Kindle does dynamic books? These have interactive parts (like doing the sentences analysis right there in the book). Does Kindle do stuff like that?

No. But the books I want just for reading are his lit series (mud trilogy, etc) and those titles aren't dynamic.

And although I do like the dynamic practice island... I think it would have been better as an app. :-)

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I did the Island level with all Physical books.  Then for Town level I did the following:  

  • Grammar Town (Physical, Teacher's Manual Only)
  • Practice Town (Physical TM & Student)
  • Town Level Implementation manual (Digital)
  • Paragraph Town (Digital)
  • Caesar's English 1 (Digital)
  • Poetry (Digital originally but in the process of going through it, I bought a used student book and we used both)
  • APM - (Alice - digital, but Peter, Mole & Parent's manual - physical) << but we are just starting to use this, so I don't have an opinion on trilogies as iBooks.

 

I agree with many of the pros/cons that OP gave in her review.  Here are a few more items to consider.

 

PROS:

  • I'm a messy person, so the iBooks allowed me to have lots of books without the associated space.
  • I'm hopefully teaching my child to be more comfortable reading off a device than I am.
  • I get the newest versions/updates for the iBooks.
  • I don't have to worry (and freak out) about the condition of the book for future kids.
  • I love the crisp, vivid pictures available especially for Caesar's English.  (I was pretty disappointed in my B&W physical copy of Building Languages from the Island level.)
  • I like the interactive features in the books.  (Caesar's English: Crosswords, Paragraph Town extended lessons:  answer checking, Poetry book:  MCT reading the poems)

CONS:

  • I chose to do Grammar as a physical book because I like to use it as a reference book when we were trying to remember the different types of verbals.  I liked to stick a post-it note & pull out the book quickly when I had to consult it.  I'm more clumsy with using an iBook for that sort of thing.
  • I chose to do Practice Town as a physical copy because while it may be fun and different for my child, I was afraid it was too easy to cheat the system and get through the exercise without learning ... but that's just my impression; I have no personal experience with this particular iBook.  (Plus, my child would write "I love you!" in the Comments section.  :D)  I also hope that using a physical book gives my child a tactile sense of accomplishment as he progresses through the book (i.e., feeling that he's halfway through or thumbing to the end of the books, etc.)
  • The publisher has created the iBook so that you HAVE to view it as a single page at a time.  This was a disappointment, especially in the poetry book, because we liked seeing the fonts/graphics flow across the pages and/or having the associated picture on the facing page.  This is why I ended up buying the physical copy of the poetry book.
  • Caesar's English quizzes, like OP said, don't save the kid's inputs!!!  How frustrating!!!  That is until I figured out on the last lesson that the kids could type in the answers, TAKE A SCREENSHOT, and then just email me the screenshots.  duh!  We were doing it orally and writing it down on a separate piece of paper before I had the eureka moment.  sigh.
  • Because of glare, it is hard to share a tablet amongst two people (parent & child) or in the sunlight.   At times, I resorted to using three devices.  ugh.  Child reading on tablet.  I'm following along with the text on my phone, and I'm also keeping an eye on the implementation manual that I had up on the computer.   But hey, we were snuggled together on the couch!!

For the Voyage level, I plan on following a similar combination of physical and digital books.  If I can find a cheap used copy of a certain book, then I may buy that rather than the digital book.  But honestly, the cost of the iBooks (using discount iTunes gift card) is in line with buying a *new* physical copy shipped from RFWP even including resale value.  Here's my example:   A new physical book may cost an average of $30 + a minimum of $5 for shipping; so you'd be spending $35.  Assume you can sell it for $15 which is 50% of the retail price after paying shipping.  So your net cost of using a physical book is $35-$15 = $20.  NOW if you want to buy an iBook, you can buy an iTunes gift card at a discounted rate (20% is great, 15% is fair).  The retail price for an iBook is on average $25.  So $25 * .80 = $20 also.  Thus an iBook can cost just about the same as a physical book without the hassle of resale.

 

 

The inability to change font size or background colors or single page view is intentionally set by the publisher when they converted it to an iBook.  I imagine that it's because they want the spacing/margins preserved.  But I hear that as a common complaint from users.  So maybe if enough of us contact RFWP about these issues, things might change?!?!?!  Personally, I'd like to see RFWP create a MP3 download of MCT reading the poetry so that we could use the physical book but still hear MCT.

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While on this topic...I'm doing Grammar Town with my 2 5th graders this year. I have the paper copy for all the teacher manuals, do I need the Student copies? I know I will probably need them for the Practice town book but what about all the others?

The first thing that comes to mind is that you'll have 3 people around 1 book trying to read ... but maybe you are better at sharing than I am.  ha ha!  :D

 

I had no trouble using just the teacher's manual of Grammar Town.  Some times I had to cover things up with post-it notes, and IIRC there might have been one small section where letters were colored to give away the answer.  I guess, though, that you could write it on a board for discussion rather than use the book for that small part.

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I unearthed this thread so that I could ask one question about the i-book, and after reading all of your posts, I think i know the answer.  I don't suppose it's possible to print pages from the i-book, is it?  I'd like the added bonuses of the digital version, but I'd like for my students to be able to write their answers on paper.  Can anyone comment on that?

Thanks!

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