How to start your school BC zone?

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I am collecting books and am just about ready to begin registering them. What do you use for your BC name? Do you keep it separate from your personal BC name? What have you noticed worked well or bombed terribly? Any hints, ideas and pointers would be GREATLY appreciated! :)


I've only just started BC with my students, so all I've got to share at this stage is how I set it all up.

Firstly, I used a separate BC account to the one I use for releasing my own books. That way I don't have to worry about what gets written in the journals of the books I have registered.

To get my students started on BC, I wrote a letter to parents to get permission for their child to sign up using their school email address. I think BC is pretty safe for children, but my letter stated that students wouldn't be using their real names to sign up and that the only identifying information would be that they were a student in my classroom at their school. If we want to be able to share books with other schools, it is unavoidable to not reveal where we are in the world. I asked students not to use their own birthday in their profile and made sure their usernames didn't contain their actual names.

As students read the books they have registered, they make journal entries and pass the book on to someone else. I'm going to set up waiting lists for each book so that there aren't any hassles over who gets which book next. I think I'll set a two-week limit on most books as well, so that they are moving quickly amongst the class. I'm only doing BookCrossing in my classroom at this stage. If another teacher shows interest in it, then I'll help them get their students started.

My next step is to swap books with other schools. I'm not going to release any into the wild - I've tried that with students before and the success rate wasn't high enough to maintain interest. I think for BookCrossing to be of benefit to classrooms, we need to be sharing quality books with other teachers who are committed to passing books on. Students are going to want to see these books travelling across the globe and will be disappointed if a book just fizzles out. I don't think I'd mind paying for postage to swap books to another school, since in return I'll be getting more books for my students that I otherwise would have had to buy. I'm being pretty picky about what I buy, as I'd rather have a few good quality books that I had to pay a bit more for than a heap of trashy books that aren't going to challenge my students or promote discussion about what they are reading.

Anyway, that's my five cents worth. Happy BookCrossing!


So, your school gives the kids e-mail addresses? What level are you? Public school? Are you a homeroom teacher? Did you take time to do a sort of lesson on BC and how everything would work?


Yes, our students get email addresses. Great for letting them communicate with each other and use email properly. I guess if your students don't have email, you could get them to set up a free one on Gmail or something similar just for the purposes of BookCrossing. I teach year 5 in a public primary school in Australia. I explained how BookCrossing works and walked students through the sign-up process. Haven't taught them too much about it - they'll learn as they go. I'm all for showing a couple of students how to do something with the internet and getting them to show other students.

Hope all that helps...


I teach year 5 in a public primary school in Australia

Where abouts are you? I have my own yr 5 class next yr in central Qld and I'm hoping to set up something BC-related!

EDIT: wow, just realised how long ago your original post was! hopefully you're still around and will spot this! :)


I don't suppose you have a copy of the letter you sent to the parents?


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