Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Let them Look

First of all, I want to say that I was excited to discover blogger in draft which allows me to utilize blogger on my iPhone, except that I have now realized after already typing this blog, and clicking preview that I evidently have to save before doing so. Nothing is perfect.

So, onto the blog title that has been left unfulfilled for over a week now! Kindergarten book selection has been a bit of a conundrum for me. On one hand, I do not want to limit student's choices just because they happen to be 5. On the other hand, I know that K kids can leave a path of destruction in their wake. But, so can some 2nd and 3rd graders I can think of off the top of my head. A request was posted on LM Net (a library email list serv that I belong to) asking for ideas about kindergarten library selection. Being in much the same boat as the post-er, I requested a hit (meaning that the sender would compile all responses and share them out). Most of the responses confirmed what I knew to be true, that I needed to let them look. One of the teacher librarians posted a rule that she uses during selection to the effect of if she sees a student with his/her shelf marker and a book, then that was their book to check out or put on hold. At first, I thought this was a bit harsh. The more I thought about it, I decided it was just RIGHT. Just the thing to get my point across about the importance of using a shelf marker and taking care with putting books back on the shelf in the right place and the right way. For both K and 1 classes, I introduced the song "The Booky Looky" with my own twist, sung to the tune of the hokey pokey and posted below if blogger will cooperate. I made a BIG deal about how for K students this was the FIRST time EVER in the whole time they were in kindergarten that they would be able to look at any book on any shelf IF they did the booky looky. There was buy in. Overall, the sky did not fall - we read Rebecca and Ed Emberley's "Chicken Little" and students found books to love. The knots that had become commonly associated with helping some hard to please K friends find their perfect book disappeared as they worked hard to help themselves more. I let them look and I hope I am brave enough to make the transition even sooner next year.

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