Mailbag – Answers to Questions from Readers

Every week in my email and Facebook inbox I receive quite a few questions from readers. I try to answer as many of them as I can (I get to the email quicker than I do the Facebook messages). Often the questions and my answers could be beneficial to a lot of readers so I’m going to try to share more of them here on

Q1. Do you know of a way to do something like magnetic poetry, i.e., have words on “movable tiles” that students can arrange in sentences?

A1. ReadWriteThink’s Word Mover tool does exactly that. Word Mover is available to use in your web browser. It is also available as a free iPad app and as a free Android app.

Q2. I would like to scan the books in my class library. Have the students check in and out books. This way I could keep track of my books. What would be a good app that I could use?

A2. Who Has What? 2 is an iPad app that will allow you to scan barcodes and or manually enter titles to keep track of what has been borrowed from you and who borrowed it. You can even use the app to send reminders when borrowed items are overdue. The app is currently priced at $0.99 but it has been free at times.

Q3. I’m looking for a way to record comments/feedback and send to my students when reading their essays. Is there something you can think of I could utilize? The only thing that I can think of is voice memo recording and emailing.

A3. If you use Google Drive, you can provide voice comments to your students through Kaizena. Kaizena will work with Google Documents and Slides. To use Kaizena to leave voice comments for your students your student should share their Documents or Presentations with you. Once they have shared their Documents or Presentations with you, open the shared file through Kaizena. With the shared file open you can highlight a portion of a document or slide then click the microphone icon to record your voice comment. Your students will see the comments after you have saved them. An outline of the process can be seen here.


Thank You Readers for 14 Amazing Years!