About this time of year many students have run through the gamut of the classroom library and are saying something along the lines of “there isn’t anything interesting for me to read!”
In years past my quick-fix solution was to send students to the school library to find something they enjoyed and wanted to read. Invariably one student went and then they all wanted to go. The usual ending of these reading lessons would be with me waiting for students X, Y, Z who I had sent to the library 40 minutes earlier and still had not returned. If and when they did return =), they did so with books that were not “just right” for them.
If I make it easier for my students to find “just right” books they will be more pro-active in their reading, use the library more, read more, and feel empowered too!
- an iPad or tablet with a QR code app (we use QR reader)
- a classroom posted QR code that links to your school library catalog.
- a blank sheet to fill out with the information of the book the student wants to check out. Click here to download the pdf template that I use.
- Take the iPad/tablet and scan the QR code that takes you to your library catalog.
- Narrow search results to your reading level (my students narrow the ranges based on a 0.5 plus or minus point variation from their ATOS average book level). In the example below, the calculated average is 2.7 so student X would enter a range from 2.2 to 3.2
- Check that the book is available.
- Complete the form and get teacher approval.
- Go to the library to check-out the book and return to the classroom within X minutes (in my case less than 8). If you have any problems finding your book you can always ask the library staff for help.
I have been using this system for the past three months now (since January 2016) and it has worked for me. Like everything, the more the students practice the better they get at it, and now it is just a regular part of the classroom routine. Give it a try and let me know if you are able to “replicate” my experiment.