3 Steps to Using BiblioNasium to Motivate Reading

News on March 10 2014

Providing students with reading challenges has been popular in the classroom for a long time.  Like many tasks, it takes lots of practice to get better at reading.  For some students, one way to get them engaged is to give them something to read that is of high interest to them, be it a graphic novel, comic book or a magazine article.

BiblioNasium is a free site designed for students ages 6 to 13 that provides a virtual bookshelf for students so they can select their favorite books.  Books can be searched by genre, and Lexile level as well as by title or author. You can also add a book if you don’t find it listed.  Teachers can create a list of books or required reading lists as well as a wish list so that parents can donate books. Books can be recommended to the entire group of students or just a subset of the group. By combining the power of the Internet with reading challenges, it encourages children to read more. By logging their reading five days in a row, students are entered into a drawing to win an iTunes or Amazon gift card. A random drawing is done once a week.  Here’s how you can get started using Biblionasium to encourage reading development in your classroom.

1. Get Parent Permission

Since BiblioNasium is only for students under 13, parents must give permission and an adult must create an account for the child. Teachers must set up parent e-mail addresses in order to get permission for the students to enter the weekly sweepstakes or other reading contests.  Students can be friends with children they already know by sharing their username with their friends.  User names are private so students cannot find each other unless they specifically share their username.

2. Create a Class or Group

When a teacher/librarian creates an account, they will be able to set up a class or group.  There is a  limit of 200 students per group but you can create multiple groups.  A teacher has the option to create usernames and passwords for students manually, by uploading through an excel/CSV file or by having the system generate them, which is great when creating large groups. The system will also generate an e-mail/letter to parents introducing them to the site.

3. Differentiate Reading Levels

Biblionasium allows parents and teachers to set a child’s reading level so that appropriate books can be assigned.   Reading levels can be assigned according to: Lexile, Guided Reading, DRA, and Reading Recovery.  Adults can see reading history with reading level, keep track of reading logs through e-mail and even send book recommendations to students.

How can Biblionasium be used to motivate reading in your classroom?

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