Loose Canon helps your school organize independent book choices in your own private ecosystem. With our year to year tracking, your school can offer the most popular titles again the next year. Your students review those books and create the buzz for the next go-round of lit circles or summer reading or SSR. Now is the time to create a culture of excitement around books.
From Julia Franks, Founder of Loose Canon:
“I’m a former teacher and a novelist and an advocate for reading choice in the classroom. I started Loose Canon™ when I wanted to create a culture of excitement around reading in my own classes. I believed then (and still do) that creating book lovers is one of the most important missions English and ELA classrooms have. I also believe the right tool can make a fundamental change in the way we teach. Loose Canon™ works best when it’s iterative: students get most excited about new books when their friends have read and recommended them–just like we do. One round of lit circles or independent reading builds momentum for the next round, when they get a chance to choose that other book (you know, the one that those guys on the basketball team were talking about). And if someone missed reading “The Nightingale” the first time around, she can choose it the next summer. But the software doesn’t allow her to get credit for it twice.
“The site also provides thousands of teacher-curated book recommendations. If a book is on our sortable list, it’s because other teachers in this country are using it in their classrooms in some capacity. The list started as an aggregation and continues to be modified by teachers. The sortable booklist is free.
“We try to recommend a grade level for each title. Unlike publishers, who will typically recommend their books for a very wide age range, we think it’s more helpful to provide a target range. We know, of course, that some students will want to read above grade level, and some students will be reading below it. We presume that teachers, who know their own students better than we do, will adjust their assignments accordingly, based upon the abilities and sensitivities of their own students. Books with the most graphic subject matter are usually classified as “college plus,” and those with no controversial bits at all can be found with that filter.
“Our aim is for kids to discover their own tastes and their own favorite authors. We want everyone to graduate with a personal reading habit, maybe even an obsession. Good readers make good citizens.”
|Loose Canon||Free||Up to 60 students and teachers can compare books.|
|Single Teacher/Homeschool Membership||$3/month||With this membership level, you can sign up and register up to 60 students and teachers. Your trial membership is free for three months, then $3 a month after that period. Your membership and your information will carry over from year to year, which means that your students will keep their reading resumes and all their past titles when you renew. It also means that the students you have next year will be able to read the reviews of this year’s students. Up to 60 current students and teachers will be able to interact, and your past students’ reviews will remain in your database.|
|School Membership||Contact for details||If you’d like interactivity with more than 60 current students and/or teachers, you may want to consider registering as a school.|
I will be honest, I am exploring this site now as it is new to me. I am heartened by what I see and hear, and the availability of student participation. I hope others will investigate this, ( free for individual teachers to try with up to 60 students, but its true value lies in the ability to obtain it for an entire school for a nominal rate, then track and maintain over time), and share their opinions.