Saturday, May 5, 2012

In the Classroom: Book-tionary

This is the time of year where planning for my library classes becomes a little bit of a sticky wicket.

With our state Standards of Learning (SOLs) testing (three weeks!), field trips, field day, a visiting author, school-wide assemblies, (you get the idea) our schedule is an ever-changing serendipitous discovery of...We Can't Come To Library!

You'd think this would make planning easier, but it does not.  You'd think I could say, "Hey, I'll just plan the rest of the year out, and if they don't show, my lesson is planned for the next week."  But I don't like library like that (most of the time).  I like to time my lessons with the seasons or what's going on in the classroom, or how close we are to hosting our visiting author or prepping my students for the visit from our public librarians.  If I'm going to the classroom (SOLs are given and taken in the Library - did I mention, three weeks!) I need to plan for a full half hour. I actually like this opportunity to spend a little extra time with my students without the pressure of fitting in book checkout (I do have longer chunks of time with my students but it feels different when I'm in the classroom without an "agenda").

Here is one activity that my students LOVE.  In fact, they might love it a little too much.  I call it  "Book-Tionary".  Creative, eh? : ) 

I use the whiteboard/dry erase board in the classroom and begin to draw a character or scene from a book.  The students have to guess the book I am drawing.  I usually begin with the pigeon from Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.  Once they catch on, it's mayhem.  My one rule is that they cannot call out - so when I look out over my little guys I see about 25 students turning red just trying not to blurt out the answer while their little arms are waving around like crazy. 

Allow for plenty of hang time to differentiate.  I also tell them that I probably will NOT call on the FIRST person who raises their hand.  Helps to take the pressure of those who need a little more time to think.  Come ready with a list of books (it's harder than you think to think on the fly).  With older students, I let them write down the title of a book they'd like me to draw; they love it when their book comes up and they get a good chuckle (okay, hearty laugh) at my artistic ability.

What do you do when you're blessed with a little extra time with your students?

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