I love to buy books and I can’t pass a bookstore (or a booth at a conference) without making at least one purchase, although usually it’s more than one!
During the VSRA Conference, I visited the Bookworm Central booth on two different occasions. I picked up a variety of books from chapter books and graphic novels to early readers and picture books. As I browsed the booth, I picked out books with specific students in mind. For example, one of my fifth grade boys is hooked on the Lunch Lady series, so I picked up one for him. I also selected Leroy Ninker Saddles Up for a student who loved Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson series. While this gets expensive in terms of money, the payback that I receive when a child waits after class to request one of my new purchases or when a child says, “I’m going to read Comics Squad first, then I want to try the Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
I want my students to have a lot of options, which requires me to keep a classroom library that can meet those needs. It’s also essential that my classroom library grow and evolve over time. While there are many “classic” books that I love to share with students, there are also so many new books published each year that students also need to access. I cannot imagine not adding a book like El Deafo or Sam and Dave Dig a Hole to my library. So, while this can sometimes be an expensive undertaking, when I see my students enjoying these books, it’s all worth it!
I have been immersed in web tools all day. I’ve been going through Thursday’s presentation and refining PowerPoint slides and making sure that I have examples to share with participants. I’ve added, deleted, and added information again and again. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time and I want to provide ideas that these folks can take back to their classrooms and immediately use. I also want the session to be interactive so that people can experience what it’s like to use the tools that I plan to highlight.
QR Codes are one tool that I will be sharing with teachers. We see QR codes everywhere, from our cup at McDonald’s to grocery and department stores. While QR codes are typically used for advertising purposes, they can be used in the classroom, too. I plan to first show participants how to create a QR code, which is fairly easy, thanks to websites like https://www.the-qrcode-generator.com. Then, we’ll explore how QR codes can be integrated into daily literacy instruction. For example, students can share book recommendations via QR codes. After they read a book, they can create a QR code that provides a brief summary of the book and whether or not they would recommend that book to their peers (with an explanation). The QR codes can then be posted around the classroom so that other students can scan them when they’re looking for something to read. The books that have QR code recommendations can be kept in an easily accessible place in the classroom.
In addition, students can create a QR code that contains their autobiography without explicitly identifying themselves. Other students could scan the code, read it, and try to figure out who the autobiography represents. Students would really have to focus on the details provided by their peers in order to figure out who wrote each autobiography.
These are just a couple of the suggestions that I have for using QR codes. I could go on and on, though!