How I Use It
Goodreads is an awesome book discovery tool to use before a visit to the library to check out books. Because library time is not easily accessible at my school and the visits are scheduled few and far between, I do everything I can to make our visits successful. I am a huge advocate for SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) time. A big part of SSR being successful is for students to have interesting reading materials available. I use this tool for students to "browse" genres and books that interest them so that they will at least have some direction when they go to the library. Though some students just click through the app without much thought, most of them enjoy the self-discovery that the goodreads app provides.
I honestly love using goodreads both in my classroom and in my personal life as well. Goodreads is very similar to a discovery process that many of my students are familiar with: Netflix. When students first sign up for a free account on the site, they go through a guided "quiz" to find out what kind of books they might be interested in. If a reluctant reader has only liked one book that he has ever read, he can choose that one book, and the site will give recommendations based on the style of the book. Teaching in a very low SES area, I find that many of my students are not exposed to a wide variety of literature at home and have no experience choosing books to read for themselves. When I take these students to the library to check out books for silent reading time, they are totally lost. If they are able to use a tool like goodreads to explore genres that they may be interested in, they can make a more informed decisions about what types of books to consider reading. Though there is a social media aspect of goodreads where students can have discussion about books that could be useful as well, I feel that the discovery portion of the site would be the most useful portion for my 10th grade students.