Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Library Thing

I have used Library Thing all year with my AP Lit students. For each theme we study, they choose a novel to read on their own, and we have Book Celebration Day where we sit together and share our books. It has always been a great day -- nothing like an English class where you just talk about books you loved.

I have struggled though with how to have them keep track of their books and review them. Library Thing seemed like a great solution. We all joined a group and "friend"ed each other, so now we can see each others' libraries and reviews. I have not though used it as much as I would like, which means of course that my students weren't using it as much as I had hoped. In fact, I am pretty sure they don't visit the site unless a review is due.

But I tried something different in today's class -- this was Book Celebration Day #3. I projected my Library Thing page and clicked on each of their names and reviews as we went around the circle. I thought it would be fun to just see the number of stars each person gave their book, and then listen to why. This indeed was neat, but what was even neater were the reviews by other people that pop up in the righthand margin. We got to see reviews from all over the world about the very books my students had read -- some in other languages as well. This was not a HUGE moment in class -- instead it was one of those little moments that add up. My students have been studying "World Lit" all year, and today they connected in a small way to people around the world reading the same stuff. Neat. Now I am thinking about how to capitalize on this more so next year ...

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