School Librarians & Teachers discussion

Using Goodreads with students

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message 1: by Ms. Graves (new)

Ms. Graves (msgraves-librarian) | 5 comments I'm a middle school librarian and I am collaborating with a reading teacher to have a private group for his class. Does anyone have any tips/hints for me? The process of getting students signed up was daunting -- several students had no email. We had to go into gmail and create accounts just for students to use. I'd love to hear how others are using this at the middle school level. After 4 classes in the computer lab, all students are on and it so much fun to read about what students recommend.

message 2: by Ms. Vicki (new)

Ms. Vicki Smith | 3 comments I think that is a great idea. I haven't tried it, but I would love to see how it goes for you.

message 3: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (babyfork) | 4 comments Mod
That's funny, I just logged into my Goodreads account to play around since I am thinking of using Goodreads with my seventh grade library class. Since you seem to have gotten started, are there any tips you would give? Also, how are you using it? Are students writing reviews, etc?

message 4: by Ms. Graves (new)

Ms. Graves (msgraves-librarian) | 5 comments So far we are having a blast. The students really like it, especially when they are writing their own stories. They are also learning social skills, because some students don't like what people are doing to their stories, so they are learning cooperation.

message 5: by Emily (new)

Emily (rozmuse) | 2 comments I too am contemplating having my students sign up for goodreads. Did you create a new group for your class?

message 6: by Ms. Graves (new)

Ms. Graves (msgraves-librarian) | 5 comments Yes,

We created a private group for the class. Myself and the english teacher are the moderators. We sent home a letter to parents explaining what we are doing.

Our project which will start after vacation is having groups of students create short "how to videos" using the Flip recorders. That way we can use those to show the next group of students!

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)


As you probably realize, I am not a teacher. I am a student entering high school. I am here to give you a student's point of view here. I told my teacher from 8th grade about this site. We used it throught the remainder of our school year. She will be taking the idea for using goodreads in classrooms to a private school teacher conference in Dallas, Texas next summer.

From a student, I can say goodreads is helpful. You can have students use the writing posts on their profiles to write responses or English assignments. If the class is reading a novel together, that novel can be located here on goodreads. Students can make comments and teachers can grade said comments if wanted. You can even make private groups for students to discuss a book just between themselves. Goodreads made class much more interesting, and I do not regret telling my teacher about goodreads.

Your student member,

message 8: by Ms. Graves (new)

Ms. Graves (msgraves-librarian) | 5 comments Aly,

Thanks for the comments! The students at my school in VT loved it. The only problem is they make so many comments (they love creating stories where other students can add on) that it is very difficult to keep up with all the posts! But it's a great way to keep in touch with a teacher over the summer. Especially if students are required to do summer reading.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)


I find that when we made stories and added on to them as a class, it helped us to think of a plot together. We also used writing skills while having fun and making our own story. We were able to control how the story went. The problem we had was that our class easily gets off track, so when we were discussing a novel together, we would begin to talk about other things as well.


message 10: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Mullon | 1 comments Hello,

I am a seventh grade ELA teacher and I want to use goodreads in my classroom this year as a way for kids to keep track of their independent reading and as a way to discuss our class novels. Any suggestions for how to stay organized and hold kids accountable for participating? I have four classes of about 30 students so any suggestions would be helpful.


message 11: by Julianne (new)

Julianne (anibanlc) | 1 comments I would also like to incorporate Goodreads into my 7th grade ELA classes. However, most of my students are not 13. Are there loopholes in the Federal law (COPPA) that would permit kids under 13 to join a social networking site within the school environment, even when I can't monitor their use of it outside of school?

message 12: by CB (new)

CB | 1 comments Since you have been using this resource, have you found Goodreads to be a good formal or informal assessment? I love the possibilities and hope to have students included in this amazing resource. I was hoping to find out if I am able to see what they do, assess, etc.?

message 13: by Buffy (new)

Buffy Naillon (buffytuf) | 3 comments For those who are trying this, how has it worked so far? I've used Facebook for one of my classes, but never Goodreads. It was great for discussion, though I also had some students who didn't want to do it initially. I was able to encourage them once I told them it was private. My students are also older, so I wouldn't have some of the restrictions that some of you have spoken about (COPPA). That said, I always want students to feel protected. I'm curious to see how you all have addressed these various issues. I'll be following this thread with interest.

message 14: by Mary (new)

Mary | 3 comments Ally,
What a great idea! I think my Pre-AP students would enjoy posting on Goodreads. Having the ability to have public or private groups makes it easy to work with school policy. I would be interested to know if your teacher assigned your class a certain number of books to read for the year?

message 15: by Mary (new)

Mary | 3 comments Buffy wrote: "For those who are trying this, how has it worked so far? I've used Facebook for one of my classes, but never Goodreads. It was great for discussion, though I also had some students who didn't want ..."

Having private groups makes it work with our acceptable use policy. I teach high school students. I think they would enjoy hearing what people outside our "walled garden" would think about books they are interested in reading.

message 16: by Buffy (new)

Buffy Naillon (buffytuf) | 3 comments Mary wrote: "Buffy wrote: "For those who are trying this, how has it worked so far? I've used Facebook for one of my classes, but never Goodreads. It was great for discussion, though I also had some students wh..."

What's the acceptable use policy for your school? I've only used Facebook with college students. While I'm not sure if it'll ever apply to me, it does seem to me to have something like that in place. I say that due to having at least one student in class who felt uncomfortable being on Facebook at all. She eventually signed up, but only after a lot of coaxing.

What was equally interesting for me was that I had another student in that class who was actually a bit put out by the idea that the Facebook page was closed to anyone that wasn't a student in the class.

It was interesting to try to balance the two perspectives. Having some guidelines like your acceptable use policy - even if I couldn't apply it across the board - would have been helpful.

message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary | 3 comments Hey Buffy,
Our school has a strict AUP. We use Moodle to post on forums, and our Wordpress blog is closed by the tech department. I must approve comments before they are posted. My students like having Goodreads. They post their ideas, and it is closed. That is what is so good about Goodreads. They are sharing and can be "protected."

message 18: by Buffy (new)

Buffy Naillon (buffytuf) | 3 comments I can see the appeal, Mary. I'm wondering if maybe I should consider Goodreads as a viable option if I teach again. We did have a closed Facebook page, but it's nice to know that we have more options.

Have you used it much? I'll be curious to hear about your experiences with it.

message 19: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Lodewyckx | 1 comments I always had good librarians and teachers at school, I often visited the library, since I had a lot of homework, but once I had to write research papers, excellent service helped me, I want to share this service with you, I hope it will help you.

message 20: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Williams | 1 comments Hi, everyone! I am a middle school librarian. For several years, I have collaborated with 8th grade English teachers, gained parental permission, and had students create Goodreads account. We then have had them join a closed Goodreads group for our class. This has always worked well, but now, this year, a student and my teach collaborator, have received very inappropriate emails referencing their Goodreads accounts. Have any of you had this problem? We have changed privacy settings to try to correct it, but emails from the same nasty site have since come through. Wondering if you have any security suggestions or experience with these kinds of issues with your students. Thank you so much for sharing if you have any thoughts!

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