Have You Discovered BiblioNasium Yet?

I think I just found a gem. And I’m really excited about it. Really.

As I was on my own Goodreads account yesterday, I was wishing that they’d create a classroom version – an area for me to create a private group safe for my fifth grade kiddos to explore books and read each other’s book reviews. Figuring that I can’t be the only teacher who’s had this thought, I started a Google search and discovered BiblioNasium, a “cool new reading community for kids.”

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I’ve done some exploring on the website, set up my own class and added a sample student so I could see how the site works as both a teacher and a student. In the past, I’ve encouraged my students to share book reviews on our class blog, but I think BiblioNasium is going to be better for a few reasons.

  1. BiblioNasium can keep track of all the books that students read during the school year, making it easy for me to view their progress and book interests.
  2. Students can view one another’s shelves. This means they can see which books their classmates have read during the school year and view their recommendations.
  3. Students can search specific books. If a classmate has written a review for the book, it will show up in the search.

Using BiblioNasium will put all of my students book reviews in one place. It’ll make it easier for my students to share and recommend books to one another, and I’m pretty sure that it will be a motivating factor and feel a bit rewarding for students to add a completed book to a shelf. Anyone within the class can also send recommendations to each other. So, if you think a book would be fitting for another student you can recommend it to them and it will show on their “my recommendations” shelf. Pretty cool!

In addition to organizing the books a student reads and recommends, the site can also be used for reading logs. Instead of paper logs, you can convert to digital. It’s easy for students to record their minutes and it can’t get lost. And it’s just as easy for the teacher to pull a reading log report. It looks like BiblioNasium is exactly what I was hoping to find. This year, I’ll be saying goodbye to the index-card review system and paper reading logs I’ve been using and giving BiblioNasium a try.

Best of all, this resource is ad-free, kid friendly, and FREE!

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When students log into their accounts for the first time, they must read and agree to the BiblioNasium Honors Code. As I said, super kid-friendly, right? The honors code reinforces internet safety and proper online etiquette.

See, what I told you? A gem. I’m pretty sure I found a gem. 😀

I can’t wait to try it out this year. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday Haiku: The Jump

The Jump

I love tutoring over the summer. This is when I get to work with kiddos who are trying to close the academic gap between themselves and their peers. With the little ones, especially in reading, sometimes little progress seems to be observable. I know that learning is occuring, but the new skills seem to sit and marinate for a while. Prompting is necessary, sometimes for seemingly too long. Then, after a seemingly stagnant period, BAM – a huge leap forward. All the sudden the student is readily using the skills we’ve been practicing and progress is clearly evident.

It seems like it all happened from one day to the next, but I know this is just how emergent and early readers tend to exhibit progress. It’s a trend I frequently have to share with parents, especially those who don’t understand the process of learning and think it’s something we can do to a child. In the classroom, the student and I push on and practice. I can see the tiny steps of growth as we work, but they’re not significant enough for mom or dad to recognize. Then the jump happens. Seeing this jump – this is what I live for.