Managing Storia Bookshelves and Tools

Best practices for managing your Storia program, including tips for setting up bookshelves and managing Storia's tools through those bookshelves

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Storia is easy to use, both at school and at home. Integrating Storia into your reading program enables you to use the power of the technology to motivate your students and to continually monitor their progress. Managing your Storia bookshelves and e-book library also will allow you to extend your independent reading program for students who are using Storia at home.

This section summarizes simple techniques and best practices for managing your Storia program, including setting up bookshelves and assigning e-books to those bookshelves.

Creating Personal Bookshelves

With 40 bookshelves, you can create a separate bookshelf for each student and populate it with e-books specifically selected for the student. And it's easy to add shelves one at a time for new students or students who move into classrooms or groups: Just click the "Add Bookshelves" button.

Work with your students to select the titles that are just right for them, and then assign the titles to your students’ bookshelves.


Reasons to Create Individual Student Bookshelves

  • You control which Storia features are turned on or are through the bookshelf—not the book. So creating an individual bookshelf means you can set customizations that are geared toward that specific student’s needs.  
  • For example, for a student who might be distracted by enrichment activities, you would urn off access to those activities for the student’s personal bookshelf.

  • A student’s notes and highlights are saved to his bookshelf. So if a student uses the notes or the highlighting tool to mark up an e-book, those notes and highlights will stay on the book as long as the book is assigned to that student’s bookshelf.
  • If the book is unassigned from the bookshelf and moved to another bookshelf, the notes and highlights disappear. (But they will return if you reassign the book to the student’s bookshelf.)
  • Though there are instructional reasons to share notes and highlights, you usually will want to associate a particular set of notes and highlights with a particular student. That can only be done if you assign individual student bookshelves.

Reading Levels
  • When students have personal bookshelves, they can read books at their own independent or instructional reading levels.
  • You can assign and unassign e-books to students’ personal bookshelves as their reading levels progress.
  • You can also acquire multiple copies of the same book and assign those books to bookshelves that belong to students in the same book club or instructional reading group.

Teacher Tip
Storia e-books come with a variety of leveling information, including Scholastic’s proprietary Reading Leveling system and unique “Appeals to” designation. Lexile levels and Guided Reading levels are also available. Additional book information includes plot synopses and student e-book ratings. E-book information can be accessed in several places in the Reading Manager. In-depth information, such as story synopsis, can be found by clicking the "E-Book Info" button.

Accessing the basic and in-depth information about each book helps your students develop independent reading skills. Students learn to quickly assess book choices, review plot and story analyses, and study vocabulary to choose their “just right” books.

  • The Storia app monitors bookshelf activity and generates reports based on that activity. This report data, such as books read, time spent reading, words defined, and activities accessed, is associated with the bookshelf.
  • If the bookshelf belongs to an individual student, then the Storia reports are reporting on that student’s reading activities.
  • If the bookshelf is shared, the reports are covering the activities of everyone who has accessed that bookshelf.

Creating Instructional Bookshelves

Here are some ideas for bookshelves that are not assigned to individual students. Also included are the instructional goals many teachers have achieved by organizing bookshelves in these ways.

Ideas for Bookshelves

Organize by Reading Groups and Books Clubs
  • Create Guided Reading groups or books groups based on reading level. Then assign a bookshelf to each reading group or book club and fill it with e-books appropriate to that reading group’s level and focus.
  • You can use these bookshelves during instructional reading time or for reading practice.
  • Examples: The Cheetahs; Guided Reading Level L

Organize by Book Category
  • Arrange bookshelves into broad book categories such as chapter books, picture books, nonfiction, and fiction. This will enable students to have an array of e-books to choose from during independent reading time.
  • As your library expands, you can further categorize your books into specific genres so students will be able to browse more quickly and efficiently.  Your students can then ask you to move their selected books to their individual shelves.
  • Examples: Chapter Books; Picture Books; Informational Texts

Organize by Genre Groups
  • Create bookshelves based on genre and populate each bookshelf with genre-specific titles at the appropriate level for your student.
  • Your entire class can choose e-books from this genre collection.
  • Examples: Fantasy Bookshelf; Mystery Club; Science Fiction

Organize by a Leveled Reading System
  • Arrange your bookshelves according to a reading leveling system such as Guided Reading (Fountas and Pinnell), Lexile, or Grade Level Equivalents.
  • These bookshelves will resemble many classroom libraries and will guide students to find books at their independent reading levels.
  • You can find the reading level of any book by going to the Reading Manager and clicking on the "E-Book Info" button. You can then assign the book to the bookshelf of your choice.
  • Examples: G.R. Level B; Lexile 600-750; 4th-6th Grade; Primary Books

Create a Read-to-Me Shelf
  • You can create a “teacher-only” bookshelf for quick access to classroom read-alouds.
  • Use this bookshelf to set aside specific books for classroom use. Students will not be able to access these titles. You can even create a password for the bookshelf to keep curious students from browsing your “private” collection.
  • Examples: Ms. T’s Corner; Classroom Read-to-Me’s

Teacher Chat
“I created a bookshelf with a code name for my most reluctant reader. I pulled him aside and explained that the ‘Code X’ shelf was a special shelf with books that I had selected just for him. I even put a password on the shelf and only gave this one student the password. He felt so special having his very own shelf with a password, he was soon happily reading the books I selected. Of course, I started out by assigning some easier books I knew he’d enjoy and feel successful with. Over time, I assigned somewhat more difficult books to his shelf.”

Managing Storia Tools and Features

Storia e-books come with age-appropriate tools to enhance your students’ reading experience. Younger readers benefit from the read-to-me feature. The highlighter and note-taking tools allow older readers to record their ideas, collect evidence from the text, and share information with each other.

Quick Tips for Managing Storia Tools and Features

Most features are managed through the bookshelf a book is assigned to. And customizations to Storia’s features remain with the bookshelf, not the e-book.

For example, if a student writes notes in a book, those notes will remain in that book, as long as the book remains in the same bookshelf. If the book is removed from the bookshelf and reassigned to another, the notes will no longer appear in the e-book. But the notes will reappear on the e-book when it is returned to the original bookshelf.

Keep this in mind when making decisions about whether you want students to share notes, highlights, and other markings.  If you want students in the same reading group to share notes or highlights, you should assign that book to a shared bookshelf.

Shared Bookshelf Tips

If students are reading a book from a shared bookshelf, such as a genre collection or leveled reading bookshelf, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Remind your students to scroll back to the beginning of the book after finishing it so when the next reader opens the book, it opens on the first page.
  • You may wish to have the first reader erase all highlights when she has completed a book, a task she must do highlight-by-highlight. It is more welcoming for the next student to begin the book without seeing the first student’s highlights.
  • If you want students to share highlights for instructional reasons, have students leave the book as-is when they're done. The highlights will automatically appear when the next student starts reading the book from the shared bookshelf. 
  • If you do not wish students to see each other’s highlights, consider setting up personal bookshelves. Erasing  all the highlights in a book can be tedious work.
  • Ask your students to sign their names to the notes they write. This way a reading group can see who wrote which note and can direct questions or comments to that student during discussion. If you do not wish students to share notes, assign the book to the student’s personal bookshelf.

Teacher Tip
If you wish to save notes as a record of a student's work, either save the notes inside the book itself within a student’s personal bookshelf or export the notes as a text file. Students can export their notes if they are using Storia with a PC. Simply have them click the “Save Notes” button within the notes sidebar to save them as a separate text file. This text file can be accessed during parent teacher conferences and can be used as part of a student’s portfolio of work.

  • Decide if you want to turn off Storia's enriched features for any of your bookshelves. Enriched activities add interactivity to the books, but they also may be distracting to some readers.  If you want to turn them off for a bookshelf, go to the "Teacher Setting" section for an individual bookshelf and then check the box that says “Disable Storia Interactions.”
  • Turn off activities and the read-to-me feature separately. To do this, go to the settings for the bookshelf and choose “Allow Activities” or “Allow Read-to-Me's.” By default, these functions are allowed. To turn either off, simply uncheck its box.

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    Teacher Tips and Strategies, Teacher Training and Continuing Education, Teaching with Technology