The first week of school every year begins with the reviewing of library manners, rules, book care and such. With K, 1, and 2 there are great stories that can be read to them to review these items such as What Happened to Marion’s Book or Mr. Wiggle’s Book. 3rd and 4th need something different. By this time students do not need a teacher directed lesson but a way to demonstrate their understanding. Every year I am trying to find a new way to demonstrate their understanding, sometimes they work….sometimes they don’t. This year with my 4th grade students I tried something new and both the students and I really enjoyed it for reviewing how to keep books neat and organized on the shelf.
Right before class begins gremlins (aka me and my para) go through the library and make mistakes on the shelf. This part takes a little work to think of different things that students do wrong that you want to make them aware of and to get enough. When the class arrived I divided them into teams by their tables so that there was about 3-4 people on a team. I explained to students that they are going to working together to find the mistakes in the library and take a picture of the mistakes.
The groups searched the library two tables at a time because I only had two cameras but this also kept the shelves getting to crowded with students. Each team took the number of pictures for people on the team so everyone had a chance to use the camera. After they took the picture they put a stick note on the spot so that no one else was able to use that mistake in the class.
It was interesting to see what students think are problems and what are not. They missed some of the obvious ones but found ones that were not even mistakes They will made good teaching points when we reviewed the pictures.
A part that I need to teach next year is how to take the pictures, students usually took a close up picture of the problem instead of a wider shot to actually see what was wrong or they were blurrier.
The students did a really awesome job of working together and sharing the camera. They did not argue over who got to use it or yelled at each other when they found a mistake. The only big difficulty was keeping students in their seats when it was not their turn because they wanted to help the other teams which is a good problem.
I will definitely be doing this again with small tweaks to make it better.