Simple Solution

When I started my blog this year I couldn't wait to get my students involved in blogging. Then it hit me...they had to have an email address to get an account. Most of my K, 1st, 2nd and 5th graders don't have their own I created a "class" blog. They like having it, they always ask to do it, but I know they aren't as invested and engaged as they would be if they each had their own blog.

Enter my twitter network---tonight I see a tweet from Alec Courosa about linked gmail accounts. Apparently you can link other names to your gmail account so that each one of your students can have an email that will come to you! In my world, that means everyone can have their own blog! I can't wait! Watch this easy to follow jingcast from Alec to see just how this works. Click HERE to watch.


Classroom Shelfari

I've been having fun with Shelfari lately. I love to read and have always kept a reading log visible in my classroom. The last few years I've been printing off the book covers of the books I read from to make my log more visual and visable. Shelfari allows me to make that same "book log" in the form of a widget on my blog.

Shelfari is a fun, virtual bookshelf. You display the books you've read, what you're reading now and what you plan to read. You can rate the books with up to five stars and can even write a review if you choose to. The virtual fun comes in
adding Shelfari friends or joining Shelfari groups. Shelfari now shows me what my friends are reading and what groups of readers like me are reading...makes a busy mom's book selection process a lot easier!
All of this fun got me thinking about how a teacher could use it in the classroom. Imagine making Shelfari one of your classroom jobs. Students would log in to your classroom account to add class read alouds, write recommendations or search your pre-selected groups for new books to read. Parents would be able to view the virtual bookshelf to get ideas for great books to buy or check out at the library and kids may want to create their own shelf at home! What do you think? Let me know if you give Shelfari a try!