If you read my blog, you know I am a Pinterest addict. While many (thousands really) of my pins go unread, some of the resources I find on Pinterest are very exciting. One such resource that I stumbled upon recently is a website called Biblionasium (think GoodReads or Shelfari – for kids).
Biblionasium is a great tool to get kids excited and engaged in their reading. Research has shown us that in order to get students to read better, we must get them to read more. Biblonasium is working to do just that in my classroom.
The site is a social network that allows students to share recommendations with one and other, and review books they have read. On the site, thousands of books are categorized by their Lexile scores (but can also be change to Guided Reading, DRA, or Reading Recovery) and are displayed in personal virtual bookshelves. As you input books you read, they are placed on your bookshelf with your reviews and recommendations. What I love most about this is that the students are more passionate about what they read. This is because they are given the opportunity to think about how they felt about each book, and then share it with their peers. Where normally, they just grab a new book and move on.
- Has a very simple interface that is kid-friendly.
- Teachers and parents have access to reports with information including time spent reading
- Medals are awarded to students for participating on the site
- Easy to involve parents and share vital information about their child’s reading habits with them
- Ability to create challenges that engage students and get them reading longer!
- Pre-made letters and emails to send to parents and get them involved!
- Set-up required me to manually input each student’s information. I would have preferred the ability to use a CSV file, which most other edtech sites use.
- Students have a lot of confusion entering challenges, and so it would be nice if I could just enter them all myself.
Over winter break, I set up a Winter Reading Challenge to keep my students reading over the break, so that they wouldn’t lose all their reading stamina. While not all participated, it was nice to see that so many met the goal’s challenge of an impressive 200 minutes of reading!
Give the site a try, you will be happy you did!