Creating a Buzz Around Books
May 10, 2020
The laundry hums in the bathroom and I can hear someone walking around upstairs. If I’m distracted, the students probably are as well. One of the many concerns that we have as educators in this time of connected learning is keeping engagement and reading volume up. As you read in this amazing blog, #ReadingisnotCancelled, by my wonderful colleague, Melissa Quimby, educators are thinking and planning about reading in a myriad of expansive techniques that engage students.
I got a front row seat to this fourth grade team’s work on engagement this last week. It’s an expansive instructional plan that can adapt to many grade levels through synchronous and asynchronous situations. The instructor introduced the plan in stages. Talking through each step, she gave students time to contribute to the conversation. Then she did the magical thing, She gave each of them time to create a quick book buzz (5-10 minutes of writing during synchronous lesson). Having students create partial work in the meet up is similar to them creating that work in your active engagement IRL. The teacher, Kaile, shared her buzz and also allowed some students to share out their buzzes during their class meet up. I created a quick buzz here during their practice session, but the student created buzzes were much more funny and engaging .
The next steps is generating an authentic audience. The grade level team created a Reading Buzz Padlet board for the students. The class went over the grade level padlet, how to create an entry, the flexibility of entries (type, video, voice-recordings, photos, screenshots). That same afternoon the padlet started overflowing with entries! The creator, Melissa, included the buzz overview in the padlet. If you are duplicating this work, you might divide book buzz padlets into genres or series or let student create divisions as well.
Thanks to Kaile Mellor for generously including me in her fourth grade lessons.