Using Shelfari to assist in keeping track of books for lessons

If you are like me, or most of the other elementary schools teachers I know you might have a slight obsession with books and incorporating them into lessons. Books are such a great starting point for discussion in all subject areas.

My classroom library. It doesn’t quite look like this anymore!

The only problem with books – keeping track of them. Either it is a storage issue – I know I have books in my classroom library, a filing cabinet, boxes related to specific units, and more at home that I cannot fit in my class or it is an issue of finding that perfect book for your lesson. Keeping track of books is no easy feat.

The beauty of using library books is that there is usually a “card catalog” type management system – we use Destiny at my school. Thought this you are able to search for a specific author, topic, theme, or book and see if it is actually in the library or in circulation.

Last night, I was looking at the website Shelfari and an idea came to mind. Why don’t I use Shelfari to manage my own personal books, and keep track of books that I read to my class to remember what concepts they are useful for. Recently, my school has been working on incorporating the PYP Learner Profile and Attitudes into our teaching and I see this as a great way to “tag’ books that are good for discussing these concepts.

Shelfari is very easy to use and free! Teachers love free!

Here is a quick overview of what you can do to “track” or “tag” a book.
1. Go to and register. If you have an username you can use that. We all know the last thing we need is one more username and password to remember.
2. In the “search” field, enter in the Title of the Book you would like to add to your personal catalog.

3. When the search results come up scroll through to find the book are you interested in. Click on “add”.

4. Have you read this? Click on the appropriate box and add a review, rating, or mark as a favorite.

5. on the “My Edition” tab, add information as to whether you own this book or notes to indicate where you borrowed from.

6. on the “Tags & More” tab, enter any “tags” that you feel are appropriate for the title

Your done!

I hope you find this a useful tool for organizing your classroom library and books that you utilize for meaningful lessons.



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