Monday, October 13, 2014

Shelfari~ Another Tool in Building Wild Readers!

The day started out like any other day. Kids filled the room with book bags, conversations and questions.  That's when I noticed one student vying quietly for my time.  Stopping to listen more intently I saw M's HUGE smile. M isn't one to seek attention so I knew this was going to BIG!  I leaned down to listen and M was almost giddy as she told me she had her own shelf on Shelfari!

As a first grade teacher I have used Shelfari for the past few years. We've kept track of the books we've read as a class and shared our reading with others.  Each year students quickly catch "Shelfari fever" and begin creating shelves (with their parents) and sharing their home reading with our class as we follow the shelves of their peers.  This year started off much the same, but something was different.

So What's Different This Year?

First, I noticed almost all the kids in our class had shelves (all but 3, all but 1 to date)!  The excitement in our room was palpable and begged to be shared! So we tweeted out our class shelf and started following the shelves of the others first grade classes in our building. Of course this led to sharing and borrowing books among the classrooms! Now the fever was viral... kids started viewing the shelves of their friends during readers workshop. "I am just looking to see what books we have in common" Nathan.  Josh took this one step further and began to jot down books requests for his friends! "Logan, can I borrow your book Homer?"  It wasn't long before the kids began to make a special request...
"Mrs. Frazier, you need to tweet out my shelf." These requests came without urgency, no questions just a simple request, because it's is just what readers do, they share books!

Best Laid Plans~
What teacher wouldn't readjust carefully made plans looming on the iPad and make a few tweets? So as a class we sat down to "tweet out" a few shelves. I looked at all the hands shooting up and I knew the tweets needed to reflect their excitement, so I asked ….
                        "What does having a Shefari account mean to you?"

Ani's Shelf

Nicky's Shelf

Alandra's Shelf

Blaine's Shelf

Diya's Shelf

As I typed these tweets my heart filled with pride, these readers aren't becoming Wild Readers, they are Wild Readers and its my honor to support their journey. ~ I love my job!


  1. How fantastic! First graders on Shelfari! Okay, I need to know more. I'm using it for our class reading to communicate with parents. Did you model how to add books with students. Do you star or write reviews? Most importantly, how did you get parents to sign up their children?

  2. Deb,
    I walked in and could just feel the excitement. I have enjoyed the way your class not only talks about the books they have read, but have started making plans based upon the shelves of friends.


  3. Hi! I'm an elementary ed student at the University of South Alabama. I currently tutor reading in a second grade classroom, so I'm already completely familiar with the feeling when your students are enjoying reading! I've never heard of this app, but it seems like something that could be really useful in my own future classroom. I'm definitely going to look into it.
    Thanks for posting!
    Laura Andrews

  4. Hello, My name is Hannah Armstrong and I am an Elementary Education major at the University of South Alabama. I have never heard of Shelfari. This is such a neat concept! Students sharing books that they love with other students is so awesome! This is definitely something I want to look into for using in my future classroom!