Scholastic Book Wizard and Summer Reading {Teachers Talking Tech Link Up}

Raise your hand if you are a Scholastic fan! Okay you can all put your hands down. It's no secret that we all supply our classroom libraries through Scholastic Book Clubs and we buy Christmas presents with our bonus points (....right? That's not just me?) Well did you know that Scholastic has a great tool on their website called Scholastic Book Wizard? It was introduced to me when I did my master's in reading, but I felt as though it was more of a parent resource than a teacher resource! I have so many parents that tell me:
  • I don't understand my child's reading level.
  • My child picks books that are way too hard.
  • My child picks books that are way too easy.
  • My child only likes The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.
  • My child can't find a book that he likes.
  • My child only likes books about _______.
You know you hear the same things. I especially hear it at this time of year when the parents are starting to panic about helping their children find books for summer reading.

So what exactly does the Book Wizard do?

1. Once you arrive at the website, you have three choices: All Books, Similar Books and Reading Level. You can select the reading level based on what information you provide to parents and the reading system that your school uses for benchmarks. This feature is useful for parents to find out the reading level of a book that their child has already selected. For example, some books have "levels" on the back of them, but if the parent knows their child's reading level is an 8 according to the teacher, and the back of the book says Lexile 900 or E... they don't really know what to do or how to translate that information. 


2. If you click on Similar Books you can use the BookAlike feature. This is probably my favorite feature of the website because I have a lot of kids who claim to only like one book in the whole wide world. I like to prove them wrong. :) Again, you can select the level "language" that you provide so that parents can easily see the difficulty of a book.



The last cool feature of BookAlike is the reading level adjustment bar. Let's say you have a student who loves a book, but it is not challenging anymore. You can slide the reading level bar to find books that are similar but more challenging. You will also notice that it tells you how the two books are similar: interest level, theme/subject, genre, etc. Interest level is especially important when you are helping struggling readers since many of the books on their level are not of interest to them anymore.



Every year I send home a summer survival packet with my students and I include these directions for parents to be able to use Scholastic Book Wizard. To download the freebie, click here!



While I am giving Scholastic a big plug- have you ever used the Scholastic Book Timer app? It is really just a glorified stopwatch but you can log in as a parent and a child and do so much more! Parents can have multiple children and can track their summer reading minutes as a family. The kids can then submit their minutes to the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge and be included in setting a world record for minutes read and earn digital rewards! As a teacher you can pre-register your class and compete with classes and schools across the country for summer reading minutes. To read more about this cool reading incentive, click here.  




If you would like to join me in talking about technology, stop by every Thursday and link up!




7 comments

  1. Scholastic book wizard has been a huge help for me labeling my classroom and like you said for parents who just aren't sure what types of books to look for etc.!

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    1. I will definitely use it for labeling my classroom library this summer!

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  2. Oh. My. Gawsh. I have never admitted before to buying Christmas presents with my bonus points, but I am guilty as charged! I think I spent over 8000 bonus points this year on Christmas gifts.

    I'm a Scholastic FREAK but haven't checked out the Book Wizard. I will now!

    :)
    Erin
    I'm Lovin Lit

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    Replies
    1. Haha I know! You'd be crazy not to use those points up!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Brandee! Thanks for linking up this week!!

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