Back to School – Week 1 – CHECK!

School is off to a GREAT start! Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Kindergarten students have come in for an orientation and checkout. I showed this clip during orientation and they all found it very funny. Before checking out their first library book of the school year, I shared Mr. Wiggle’s Book with them and we talked about GOOD things to have around library books and BAD things to have around library books. I also sent home a letter to parents explaining what students learned about taking care of their books.  This year, I will see Kindergarten as part of Related Arts (once a week for 45 minutes, during their teacher’s planning period).

1st and 2nd graders came in for orientation and checkout this week too. They watched a short movie I made all about the library. They will come in once a week with their teacher for a 15 minute checkout time.

3rd, 4th, and 5th graders also came in for orientation and checkout. With the older kiddos, I showed them a short video about the Learning Commons and we did a QR Code Scavenger Hunt. It was SO FUN! The idea came from my friend Sharon Matney who found the lesson on Pinterest (from this blog – PS: I will be writing posts for that blog every now and then :)). Here’s what I did: I had 10 questions for students to answer about the library. I told them to try to answer the question first, find the QR code that goes to the question, and then scan it to check their answer. After they were finished with the scavenger hunt, they brought their paper to me, I stamped it (with my Facebook LIKE stamp!), and then they checked out. Before classes left, we went over the answers to the questions. Students worked in pairs or small groups of 3. I would totally do this again. What I would change though is that they scan the QR code and a QUESTION comes up for them to answer. I found that they were just scanning the codes without answering the question on the paper first…I think they still got it and were able to do and learn from the activity, but they will get more out of it the other way next time, I think 🙂 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders will come in for a weekly 15 minute checkout time with their classroom teacher.

I am also teaching a 5th grade Media Technology class with our Technology Integration Specialist. We have 22 students. So far, they have created Wordles and/or Tagxedos about themselves and have presented those to the class. They have also learned how to use a digital camera, video camera, FLIP camera, and iPad to record movies and take pictures. Next week, we are making avatars and exploring Big Huge Labs.

Other happenings in the Learning Commons include –

  • Celebrating Summer Readers! I like for students to come in with a reading log or their reading medal from the public library summer reading program for a picture. It’s fun to see how many students read over the summer!
  • National Library Card Sign Up Month! September is National Library Card Sign Up Month and to celebrate, we are asking students and teachers to show us their public library card throughout the month. We will keep track of students who come in and show us their card. Classes with 100% participation will earn a prize.
  • International DOT Day/Week is coming up very soon! I am working on my plans for that fun week 🙂

There is so much to look forward to and to plan for this school year – can’t wait to share with you!

Happy Labor Day!



About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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5 Responses to Back to School – Week 1 – CHECK!

  1. Eileen D'Andrea says:

    Great ideas Valerie! I’m definitely going to do something with the QR code scavenger hunt this week. Now to create it! Quick question. Did you create a slideshow doc with the questions/answers, and then link that to your website for the QR codes? Just trying to figure out the logistics. Thanks!

  2. Thank you! They had a printed list of questions to work from. I made the QR codes ahead of time on (saving the answers to the questions as a text QR code). I printed the QR codes out and had the QR codes that went with the questions posted around the library. I hope that makes sense! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. How’d your QR hunt go? I’m curious 🙂

    • Eileen D'Andrea says:

      Hi, I was meaning to get back to you, such a busy week. The kids LOVED it, and so did the teachers. I did it similar to yours, but had the kids try to answer all of the questions first, before I gave them the iPads. That worked well. It also inspired a whole group of teachers and kids to do QR code scavenger hunts for other things. One teacher had her students do one for a study guide. Our student council is going to create a series of QR codes to place around our school, so parents can scan them during back to school night. Lots of fun! Thanks for the great ideas.

  4. Yay! I’m glad to hear it was a success! Great idea to get the kids to answer questions FIRST. I will be doing that next year, for sure 🙂

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