From the Office of the Future of Reading

Please welcome today’s guest blogger,  Shelly Stasney. Shelly is in her 15th year of education, currently teaching 5th grade to a wonderful group of students in Houston, Texas.  She aspires to write a book about the morning meetings she does in her classroom. She gets many of her book ideas from Nerdy Book Clubbers on Twitter.  

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Connecting Kids and Books Through the Use of Technology

Many of us have read that quote that reports something to the effect that “There is no such thing as a child who doesn’t like reading.  There are only children who haven’t found the right book yet.”  When I read this quote, I took it to heart, and made it my personal mission to help every child I meet get that “right book” in their hands and read.  

After reflecting on the above chart (seen on Twitter and 
Pinterest), I added to this personal assignment: I was going to use technology more often to assist kids in finding that right book.  Over the course of a school year, I took it a step smarter.  How about if kids help each other find that book that sets them on fire, makes them drool or foam at the mouth, stay up all hours of the night, or kiss a book goodbye before they return it?  Yes, these are all ways I have described just right books to kids.  At first, they look at me as though I’m nuts, but by the time they leave 5th they’ve done at least one of the above.

Here are a few of the ways my students have used technology to connect each other to great books:

1. Edmodo: 

I like to think of Edmodo as our class Twitter page.  Students can post comments about anything school appropriate.  I encourage students to post about books they are reading.  They give one or two sentences on why they like a book, how many stars they would give it, and the genre.  Students can link book trailers on Edmodo. Students and teachers can also post local authors visits. I have been surprised how many of my students have had their first encounter at a bookstore because they went to meet an author.

2. Kidblog: 

Create a class blog page for students to make posts.  The most successful topics I have assigned to spread the word about books were: Top 10 List, My Favorite Book, and Bio of a Reader.  Read them for yourself here

3. Book Trailers:

Last years’ students used Movie Maker to create book trailers on  books < span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: large;">from our classroom library.  Every so often this year, I debut a trailer.  Current students will also create book trailers. These can also be posted to Edmodo or class web pages.

4. Twitter and Author Blogs or Websites:

I encourage students to follow authors they admire on Twitter, Websites or Blogs.  My students have had many authors respond to them.  Sometimes I’m worried I have created little author stalkers, but the authors assure me 
they find great pleasure in hearing from students.  Many times students will find out when books are going to be released, and they will make sure the class is reminded until that date!  This method even led our class to have a phone conversation with Ginny Rorby.

There are several other non-technological ways that I connect kids with books, but students thoroughly enjoy using technology as a tool to raise awareness about books and take action in our reading community.  If you are not using any of the above to connect kids to books, I highly encourage you 
to give it a try.  None of these were difficult or time consuming.  If you have other ideas, I’d love to hear them!

Thank you, Shelly,  for these great ideas on how to connect the dots between technology and books! 

You can find her on Twitter as @srstasney.

No Responses to “From the Office of the Future of Reading”

  1. Mrs. Miller

    Love the idea of using Kidblogs as a place to share multiple books. We have used it for specific books, but I might try it this way this year.

  2. Heidi

    I’m not sure about how the safety settings would work, but what about a class Pinterest page for favorite books?
    Also, you as a teacher can sign up for the Publisher’s Weekly newsletter for children’s publishing. That will give you a jump on what’s coming, what to look for, and news on favorite authors. If you go to, and go to the e-newsletters link, you can select which you’d like to receive.

  3. Heidi

    How about a class Pinterest page for favorite books?
    Also, as a teacher, you can subscribe to the Publisher’s Weekly newsletter for children’s publishing. Look for the e-newsletter link on their home page. It will keep you up-to-date on upcoming news and info regarding your class’s favorite authors.

  4. Anonymous

    I signed up on the Thanks for the info.