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confetti_3inRow.jpgHow do you know you are using the best possible resources? There are a lot of books available in print and electronic formats to choose from. Today, we will learn about the acronym RADCAB. This evaluation tool will help you to determine the best learning materials for any themed lesson. So, let’s get started…

R-Relevant. Use keyword searching to narrow your searching to specifically the topics you want to teach. There are other “filters” that make your resources relevant.  

A-Appropriate. You can filter by DRA, ATOS, and age. This is helpful for younger or struggling readers because you can find materials targeted to them. Great resources allow you to differentiate within your own classroom.

D-Detail. By previewing the resources, you can ensure that they have enough information to meet your content needs.

C-Current. Ebooks on Big Universe are relatively recent, however, you can always check the copyright date on the reverso page (opposite of title page) in the book.

A-Authority. Big Universe has partnered with over 40 well known publishers. You can be assured you are getting good stuff, when using these resources.  

B-Bias. Again, previewing is the key. Check your resource for bias. Bias is not a bad thing, you just need to be aware of it so you can be prepared to discuss topics that contain bias.


With the 4th of July around the corner, here is an example of resources you could use to teach a themed lesson.  

Relevant- I used keyword searching for July and Independence which narrowed down my results.

Appropriate- By quickly glancing at the ATOS and DRA levels, I can now assign these books to individual students.

Low Level


Medium Level


High Level

Detail- By reviewing the above resources, I thought the middle resource the best.  It was eye catching and written in a way that would appeal to many readers.  The “Did You Know” boxes were full of fun and interesting facts.  It also included extension activities: visiting websites and making a crossword puzzle using vocabulary from the book. However, struggling readers will find the lower leveled resource appropriate. The higher leveled book is chocked full of information and primary sourced pictures.  

Current-  The above books have copyright dates of 2010 and 2015 which make these great options!

Authority– By looking at the publishers, (Crabtree, Cherry Lake and Primary Source Readers) you can be assured these are highly reviewed books.

Bias- Patriotic themed books. 

The “RADCAB” test will work with any topic or themed lesson and can even be taught to students. Now it’s your turn, find some books and use “RADCAB”  while adding to your BU bookshelf.

We love to hear from our followers, what information did you find helpful as you selected books for your lessons?

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