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!

3 thoughts on “Have You Discovered BiblioNasium Yet?

  1. I also found Biblionasium this summer after reading a book by Jennifer Serravallo. I signed up as a teacher and a student so I could see how it worked. I love that I can recommend books to my students too. I will be using the information collected during reading conferences. In an effort to show my students that I also read outside of school, I will be logging my own reading and writing reviews. I am hoping my district will allow me to use Biblionasium at school. Also on FB several people shared Bookopolis as an alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing, Ms. Cunningham. I hadn’t considered logging my reading minutes too…that’s a great idea! Unfortunately, there isn’t a Reading Log option for teachers (only an option to pull reports), so it looks like we’ll have to create a student account for ourselves if we’d like to share our reading log with the class.

      I’m happy you mentioned Bookopolis, another great resource. In my comparison of the two, I decided that BiblioNasium was better suited to establish a reading community in my classroom. It seems more streamlined and clean, easier for students to navigate and interact with each other. On Bookopolis, I was able to find several student reviews on any book that I typed into the search, which seemed nice at first, but the vast majority were poor examples of book reviews, especially for upper elementary books. On BiblioNasium, students have access to just their classmates and friends reviews and recommendations. As a teacher, you can choose to approve reviews before they post which will allow me to hold a standard for book review entries. I’d be concerned that the plethora of one-line-no-capital-letter-or-punctuation reviews on Bookopolis would set a low standard for my class. Something worth considering as you choose one or the other. I hope your district allows you to use this resource at school…and hopefully it’s a success! Good luck.

      Like

  2. I had to sign up as a kid to log my own reading. I typically sign up for most sites/apps as a student (and a teacher) so I know how my students will experience the technology. I didn’t really explore Bookopolis because I was so pleased with BiblioNasium as a teacher and student. Have a great school year!

    Liked by 1 person

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