Friday, January 29, 2010

A "Reading Log" kids will want to keep.

If you are an English teacher and haven't yet discovered Shelfari then you and your students are in for a happy surprise. Shelfari allows your students to maintain a virtual "book shelf" where they are not only able to comment on books they've read, but recommend those books to others. They can also create private groups (as I did with my AP Language and Composition class) and build a community shelf. This site DOES have ways to make your class groups private. However, individual "shelves" are only private if they are set to be that way. I highly suggest you play around with it for a bit before jumping in with students.

How can you use this in your class?

1. Create a group shelf on Shelfari for your classroom. After each student creates an account, have him or her contribute a book to the class shelf (complete with a personal review and rating).

2. Have students build and maintain a personal shelf to serve as their "reading log."

3. Because Shelfari is a sort of social network, all of you can be connected in a virtual "book chat."

4. Have upperclassmen create a shelf with the college-bound reading they've done while in your class. Allow younger students to browse the shelves for recommendations.

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