Friday, 9 September 2016

Blokes with Books Club

This post is about a year overdue, but here goes.

Early into my new job as a newly minted Teacher Librarian I started noticing the "lost boys"  of the library.  Those souls who would wander around and between the stacks with a dazed look on their faces. Or they'd be flicking through books without actually registering the contents. Or they'd just park themselves on a chair with the (too popular to let them be borrowed) Guinness Books of records and sit and talk through with "oohs and aahs" with their like-minded mates.  Obviously something.needed.to.be.done.

But equally obvious to my middle aged, white, female mind, I was not the one to do it. Or at least, not to appear to be the one to do it. But should it be a teacher? If so, which teacher? My criteria was young and male, but I didn't know my new colleagues all that well... I settled on our EdTech coach, Tim.  An extremely busy and popular educator, with experience in the classroom and, since moving into the new role with all the classrooms, he was enthusiastic when I suggested it. (Phew).

We collaborated on lesson plan ideas, and books that may "hook" the students. And we were open for business. We emailed teachers from Grades 3-6 and asked if they had any students who they thought may benefit from this group. Most teachers had 1 or 2 students.  The first session started with about 8 students. And quickly word spread that this was a really fun thing to be involved with.  Group members had their own membership badges and a special "learning agreement" for their time in the library. Teachers reported back that the students were more motivated to borrow books and were super enthusiastic about going to the sessions which were held once a week on a Wednesday during the last period (a 40 minute period reserved for literacy leadership). A couple of ELL students were identified who would also benefit from being "one of the blokes" even though their language level wasn't that high and they joined in as well.

The year ended with a bang when I chanced on reading of a book review of "Adventures of a Kid Magician" in February or March. Then of course it was a case of getting Tim's mother to buy 5 copies of the book from Walmart - the only stockist at the time and shipping it to Singapore. It was as if we'd set off fireworks in the library. Basically each chapter leads to clues which unlocks a code to a youtube video showing how to do a magical trick. So the rest of the year involved multiple read-alouds of the chapters and hunting the clues down and desperate attempts by our blokes to be the next in line to read the book! Talk about a magic formula to combine the physical and digital (my review here),

Today was our first official day, starting with going over the essential agreements, one boy who insisted on doing a book talk on a book he was loving (Things Explainer - I've ordered a copy for the library now ) an ice-breaker of Zip Zap Zop followed by "Book Speed Dating" - 3 rounds of 5 minutes of "dating" a book after which the favourite was chosen (or not) for checkout.





Initial Lesson plans (2015/6):
Lesson #Ice BreakerActivities
1Staring Contest-Choose a Book Any Funny Book/read
-Read in the Dark/ Tent
-Find a girly book competition/read  
-Find a manly book competition/ read
2Spot The Difference-Ben Cooperman Read Aloud his book “Gabriel and Five Joshuas”
3Charades (written on note cards)-Discuss adventures/ what kind of adventures there are
-Read choose your own adventure book
4Crocodile Tooth GameGraphic Novels
5Zip Zap Zop-Judge A Book By It’s Cover
6Toilet Paper Mummy-Monster Books
7Drawing Charades-Joke Books
8Draw Yourself As Cartoon-Dewey Grams
-write down the number of book and to hand to someone else
-Use scholastic.com to make a Christmas book wishlist
9Minefield-Introduce Legends and Myths with Sinbad Video
-Legends and Myths books
10Zip Zap Zop-Introduce old comics
-Read through old comics
11Tennis Table Soccer-Magazine Reading
Explain all the neat features of the different magazines
 12-end of yearVarious icebreakersReading of "Adventures of a kid magician" and unlocking the videos