Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Books, Books, and More Books--Write and Read

On Monday, January 9, 2012, Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers, posted an article Book Reviews for Kids, By Kids.  This free web site for students is under student activities in the Teacher section of the main Scholastic site but simply follow the link to Share What You're Reading here.  It is recommended for grade groups 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. 

In an introduction Scholastic states:

Students can Write a Review, after consulting our helpful tips. Then, they can preview and send their work to Scholastic.

What books are other kids reading? Students can Read Book Reviews to find out, sorting by grade or by genre, from the classics to fantasy and science fiction to spooky books and more.

When a student elects to Write a Review a screen appears which initially lists four main points to consider when writing a review.  If they so choose they can select the option for more help by clicking on the Writing With Writers Workshop which is a five step process to fine tuning their skills in writing a book review.
To write a review to be published they are next reminded about disclosing personal information on the Internet, asked to read the terms of submission and privacy policy statement along with seeking parental or teacher permission to use this service. 

Next they fill in the title of the book, the author's name (best to do complete name), choose the type (genre) from a selection of eight, tell one interesting thing about the book, and explain why you liked or didn't like the book.  The student is asked for their first name and only the last name initial, their grade and their state or province.  Finally they are given the option of preview or submit.

Simply click on the button on the home page to read the recommendations of other student reviewers.  Users can search by genre or grade level.  Whether you are writing a review or reading other reviews it is very easy to navigate within the pages at this site.

In browsing through the reviews it appears that length is up to the reviewer's choice or perhaps an assignment requirement; lengths varied from a single sentence to several paragraphs.  Our students can never get enough writing. This application allows them to be concise, carefully choosing words which will express their exact sentiment and gives them a venue to air their opinions knowing that other students will be doing the reading.  Several reviews are featured and there is a link to a Books & Authors web page at Scholastic which is a fantastic resource for teachers. 

Thanks again to Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers for posting about this excellent opportunity on his blog.

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