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Book Punch: A Reading & Writing Teaching Tool

Book Punch: A Reading & Writing Teaching Tool

Kelly Tenkely

What it is: Book Punch is a new site dedicated to helping students in grades 3-9 become stronger readers. The site takes the most popular books read by schools in grades 3 through 9 and provides guided reading prompts about the reading improving overall reading comprehension.

Book Punch encourages critical thinking skills and teaches students how to be in control of their own learning (this to me is the purpose of education). Students are led through the writing and thinking process as they read books with Book Punch . Interactive prompts help students to focus their thinking about a particular book. There are hundreds of built in tips and support that help students to gather ideas, organize thoughts, revise, edit, etc. in response to the literature they are reading. The site walks them in a very concise manner through the reading/thinking process.

Students each get a login to the Book Punch site and can work at their own pace, making it easy for you to differentiate instruction in your classroom. As a teacher, you can assign a book to your whole class or to individual students making it easy to meet every student at their current reading level. The site offers teachers lesson plans, activities, classroom management ideas, tips and strategies, and classroom aids. Book Punch is not a free service, but they offer a free demo writing activity for every book as well as a free pilot program to use with students for 30 days (any two books of your choice.) Even if you can’t fit it into the budget for this year, Book Punch is definitely worth the visit if you teaching reading and writing for 3rd-9th grade. The free demos are wonderful and will give you a great jumping off point for your reading curriculum.

How to integrate Book Punch into the classroom: I LOVE sites that teach students how to think critically. For me, that is what education is all about. If I know how to gather information, how to follow directions, how to write, and how to think critically about what I find…I am going to do just fine in the real world! Book Punch leads students through the reading/thinking process. It meets students where they are at and the helps meet individual needs. The site gives you the opportunity to find out where gaps are occurring in student reading and comprehension so that you can work with students more effectively. Book Punch is intended to be an individual student program that would be best in a computer lab or mobile lab setting. However, depending on how your time is set up, I think that Book Punch could be used effectively in the one or two computer classroom as a center that students visit during reading time. The demo questions would be perfect for use with a projector and whole class discussion or writing. Book Punch works right into your current curriculum and literature, making it simple to implement. The ability for students to login to Book Punch at school or from home makes it an even sweeter deal!

Tips: Try out Book Punch for free and be sure to get it on the budget for next year if you can’t fit it in this year, it is very reasonably priced and well worth it!

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