Biblionasium – Keeping Readers Excited About Reading

Biblionasium

Engaging Young Readers

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.

Likes:

  • 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!

Dislikes:

  • 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!

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4 thoughts on “Biblionasium – Keeping Readers Excited About Reading

  1. Dear Ms. Zuluaga. Thank you for your review of BiblioNasium.

    We wanted to make sure you know that there is a BULK upload option to register students via a CSV or Excel files. It is available from the page where you register students and “Manage” Groups. We will make sure it is more prominent so that educators can find it easier.

    Also teachers can setup Reading Challenges for Individual, groups of students or the entire reading group. The option is accessible from the Teacher Dashboard “Challenges” menu option.

    We look forward to your participation and your feedback. Please contact us with any questions. Thank you for selecting us a partner to promote independent reading for young readers.

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    • I must have missed the BULK UPOLOAD option during set-up! I see it is there thought! Thanks for letting my know, I will update the post.

      My issues have not been with creating the challenges for the group, rather it is with having the students enter the challenges. They always tell me that they entered a challenge but the minutes they logged in didn’t count. Unless I am mistaken, they must manually enter the challenge, and I cannot just automatically enroll them to start in one. If this isn’t the case, then maybe you can share the steps to allow me to do this for them. Thanks for your response!

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  2. If there is a MINUTES challenge, any minutes logged in the Reading Log will automatically count towards the challenge. They don’t have to do anything but enter the minutes in the log. They can then see the progress from their Challenges TAB.

    For those challenges that are based on “book titles” or “book categories” and require them to finish the book, we only show the challenge name when they flag that “they finished reading the book”.

    Perhaps if we show the “Minutes challenge name” in the Reading Log and give a message that it was updated, it will clear things up. Will get on it! :))

    Thank you for your feedback.

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  3. BTW … They do need to ACCEPT a Challenge from the “Suggested Challenge List” (that was done in case you have given them several challenges and they can select/choose which challenge they want to enroll in). Maybe we should show any outstanding Suggested Challenges as the first TAB. Will do that too! Thanks!

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