Sunday, September 26, 2010


Beware of out-of-control hyperlinks. I have 13 Internet Explorer boxes open from jumping from one link to another.

I have been trying to find an online collaborative project with other librarians. No luck. I found a good website on library curriculum but it was informative not collaborative.

 I would like to do something with books and getting students excited about reading. I found an article on Collaborative Learning Gaining Traction in Classrooms and Libraries by Sarah Amandolare that linked me to the website EPals. From this site I found In2Books which links adults with students' reading books.  The program is for students doing book reviews in grades 3-5. Students choose books from a booklist and write a review.There is a checklist to see if certain story elements are in the review. The students write to another adult about the book they have read. The adult writes back to the student and they discuss the book. The adult has gone through a screening test and the teacher has control of the communication. The review that comes from the adult goes to the teacher who approves it and sends it on to the student. At this point I'm starting to wonder if all these bells and whistles cost money. So I open a few more hyperlinks to add to my collage of cascading open browsers and find that the program is free if you are a Title 1 school in the U.S. and costs $360-$460 US dollars if you are not.

Here's a link to a video explaining the program

I wiped the browser(s) clean and tried a different track looking up online book clubs. I found one I liked called Spaghetti Book Club. It has a wide range of books and the web interface is easy to use. Two of the bottom links didn't work and when I clicked on the About section it said there were membership fees.

I need to mull over this topic. The In2Books collaborates with adults and I want students to collaborate. The Spaghetti Book Club doesn't collaborate so it doesn't really apply. What would be more valuable? Scott has Pen Pals with grade 2 students in the U.S. and I see the value in it. Perhaps linking with another classroom in the world and sharing reading is the way to go such as the ES 1001 Tales. ES 1001 Tales has a great setup and I could get lots of ideas from it. I used a Wiki a couple of years ago with books and it became too unruly with no organization to the books. I also had problems with students accidentally deleting each others reviews. Of course it didn't help that I didn't know what I was doing. I think the blog setup would work better as a collaborative tool because of the easy way to organize using categories.

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