A couple weeks ago, I came across a website called GoodReads and I can’t get enough of it. Essentially, GoodReads is a Facebook for book nerds. There are forums and communities to join, books to add to your digital book shelf and places where you can post your reviews and interact with likeminded readers.
I have a horrible habit of not remembering the books I want to read. The minute I enter a book shop, my memory breaks down and that mental scrap sheet of book recommendations disappears into the ether. GoodReads remedies this problem because I never have to write down any titles or authors; I simply click and add them to my list of “to-reads” and pull it up on my phone.
Oh, but there’s more: GoodReads also gives me the opportunity to interact with published authors and enter into contests to win books before they’re available in book stores.
If you haven’t guessed where this is all going, I’m suggesting that reading teachers share GoodReads with their students. It’s an easy way for students to keep track of their reading progress and gives them a forum for them to make their writing public.
Biblionasium is a lot like GoodReads, but this site has been created specifically for teachers, parents and K-8 students. As with GoodReads, users can set up virtual bookshelves, browse friends’ bookshelves and easily find books with a customizable search bar that allows students to search by title, author or reading level. What makes Biblionasium an ideal choice for parents and teachers, though, is that it keeps them all connected. Here’s how it works:
Teachers create a free account, add students and parents to their roster, and assign passwords. Once students login, build their virtual bookshelves and start cataloging their reading practices, parents can check in to view a reading summary. This report lets parents know what students are reading, how long they’re reading, and whether or not they are challenging themselves.
In addition to GoodReads, an Edmodo buddy alerted me to a similar site called Reading Rewards. Much like GoodReads, users can add books to their digital library, write reviews and join groups, but this site specifically targets kids between the ages of five and fifteen.
Students can track their reading “miles,” earn badges when they hit milestones, and visit the RR Store to collect reading rewards: a movie night at home, for example, or a family game night, a sleepover with a friend, iTunes credit, or game console time. Adults determine how many RR miles are required to purchase rewards.
Teachers can also create accounts and set up their class as a group. Once students join, teachers receive access to a dashboard where they can track class book lists, reading tallies, book reviews, and more. Teachers can also set individual or class reading targets—and because Reading Rewards is fully web based, your students can access it from home themselves.
If neither of these two sites satisfy your needs, there’s also a site called Book Wink. You can learn more about this site by clicking here.