Reeling in Readers: Creatively Promoting Books

I realized the other day that the link I posted won’t work on iDevices because of the flash component in SpicyNodes. Here is the same content in text/link format.

When I first started in the library several years ago the digital book trailer was the way to promote books. While I still see the value in book trailers (still post several a month), I also think it is essential for us to also look at other platforms for book promotion.  Here are just a few.

Thinglink

Create a poster you can “touch” with things like website links, videos, social media, and text.

Website: http://www.thinglink.com/
Sample: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/402645903845883904


QR Code Displays

Display books in the library with a QR code that links to information about the book, book reviews, series information, links to a movie, or facts about the author.
Tips on QR codes (the QR code tab): https://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=500988


Student Videos

Have students create short videos promoting a book they like. Can be short clips just showing them and the cover or an actual interview about why they liked the books. Be sure to choose a variety of students.

SpicyNodes

Use SpicyNodes to showcase read a like lists or genre spotlights.

Website: http://spicynodes.com
Sample: http://www.spicynodes.org/a/8b7baad730231d4448ca3cfdc6e2d8ad

Bookmarks

Create bookmarks for students as they check out in the library. Can have QR code links to library resources, photos related to books read in the classroom, popular genres, etc.

Sample: https://ssl.vuzit.com/s/7et7r?sid=ULN2K72IaKjKMBj7FuvsLHyFfd4siv5u

Book Blogs

Book blogs are still popular with students. They enjoy knowing what you are reading and how you think. Share frequently electronically and also post by book displays for students without Internet access.

Prezi Scavenger Hunts

Use Prezi and create short guess the book prezis, author information, or series challenges.

Website: http://prezi.com
Sample: http://prezi.com/ippwkaurje4o/genre/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Websites

Create simple websites or pages for book promotion such as read a like lists.

Website: http://education.weebly.com
Sample: http://readalikelists.weebly.com/

Popcorn Maker

Add pop up text to any video posted on YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud or HTML5. Think old school MTV pop up videos. Use this tool as a way to highlight things you want students to remember.

Website: https://popcorn.webmaker.org/
Sample: https://shacklibrary.makes.org/popcorn/199e

Podcasts

Record a short excerpt of the book with an introduction to why students would enjoy the book. Can have guest readers for a surprise students. Only need a program like Audacity, a computer, and a microphone.

Website: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ for recording
Website: http://podbean.com for hosting

Talking Book Displays

Use a short recorder next to a book for book promotion. Have students or teachers record and have a contest for students to guess the voice.

Website: http://www.joann.com/record-it-button-/7528011.html

Flash Version of Links Above:

SpicyNodes link: http://www.spicynodes.org/a/476e7a88194a8ee05b402a797a901c19

Ideas for QR Codes in the Library

I’ve been doing some brainstorming this summer. Here are some of my ideas for QR codes in the library. Feel free to comment with any others. 🙂

Book Displays/Resources

  • Book cover with QR code that links to a book trailer
  • Author picture with QR codes that link to books, biography, facts, etc.
  • Book or cover with QR code that links to other book suggestions
  • Nonfiction book with information about that Dewey category in a QR code
  • Nonfiction book with facts from the book in QR code
  • Book display with QR code book review
  • QR code link in back of book that links to series website so students know what book is next in the series. If there is not a good series website consider using Wikipedia.
  • Biography book with link to other resources on that individual
  • Nonfiction book with key words for searching that topic in a database
  • Display of books that have a theme in common. Scan QR code to see if they identified the correct theme
  • Link to Twitter/Pinterest feed of authors
  • Put a bookmark inside a book with a QR code discussing a quote on that page (why it was chosen)
  • Book display comparing the book to the movie
  • Display with books that you also have digital copies of in the library (link to the eBook)
  • Baby picture of teachers with a link to a current picture holding their favorite book
  • Book display about popular reading lists highlighting the specifics of each list as well as a few examples
  • Short description of the Dewey category and what kind of books are found in that section
  • QR codes for popular series or topics with description of how to find those resources in the library
  • Student created bookmarks with the cover, a short review, and QR code link to online content such as reviews, trailer, author website, etc.
  • Book display about the parts of a book. Use QR codes to discuss the different parts
  • If Books Could Talk Display using different books and matching them to theme in the book. For example: The Uglies book might say: “Who defines beautiful? What if they are wrong?”

Library Promotions

  • QR code link to library website in PTA newsletter
  • Links to library policies
  • Link to databases
  • Information about clubs
  • Information about IDs
  • Book fair information
  • Currently reading sign (post picture of book with QR code link to review)
  • Link to library survey in Google Docs
  • Links to information about special library events
  • Links to pictures from a previous event
  • QR code for library newsletter
  • Make QR code mouse pads that link to Destiny
  • Bookmark with important library links
  • QR codes to reading list or reading program resources on a flyer or bookmark
  • Link for Wi-Fi information
  • QR code to Twitter feed

Lesson Ideas

  • Use QR codes that reveal the correct answer on a worksheet. For example: students scan A and the QR code says “Please try again” and when they scan C it says “Correct”. This is great for discussing WHY an answer is wrong if it is common mistake.
  • Use QR codes to link to original creations like short poems, paragraphs, biographical information
  • Stations for getting to know a book through different formats (ex: Goodreads, author website, book trailer, podcast, etc.)
  • Scavenger Hunt-can either use QR codes for the question, the answers, or both
  • Stations-QR code can link to content, directions, or etc.
  • Link to directions about an activity or remediation resources
  • QR codes that give research tips
  • QR codes posted in library that reveal passwords for databases or library catalog
  • Links to tutorial resources on the most commonly used Web 2.0 tools (can store on a website or in Dropbox)
  • High School students could create digital portfolios/resumes
  • Use QR codes for directions instead of a worksheet
  • Voting for any topic using a site like poll anywhere or a Google Form
  • Share student created videos via QR code
  • Student book reviews
  • Matching activities. Students match the item and then scan a QR code to get the answer
  • Link to library resource of the day. Have the link pull from a website or wiki so you don’t have to change the QR code, just add the new content. Could highlight a vocabulary word or skill as indicated by benchmark scores
  • Link to exemplars of student projects so expectations are clear
  • Link to rubrics
  • Teen Tech Week outdoor scavenger hunt before school
  • Students write original story and link to the picture that inspired the story
  • Link to wiki or website created by student that reflects learning on a research project. Post around school.
  • QR code links to a word or topic that students then look up in a dictionary or encyclopedia
  • Students scan a QR code for a book description or cover and then locate that book in the library. Scan a second QR code when they reach that location to see if they are correct.
  • Reminders about copyright policies and citation tools
  • Links to flipped classroom or flipped library resources (put both inside and outside library)

LiveBinder with QR Code Tools

http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=500988&backurl=/shelf/my

Thinglink

I’ve decided I’m in love with thinglink; http://thinglink.com . Really. If you haven’t used it before you import a photo and then you can add links to video, text, websites, etc. They make both creation and sharing very easy!

FYI for classroom use, e-mail accounts are required, but if students can’t use personal email I did discover that they will allow multiple people to use one account (like a classroom) if you don’t all start at the same time. We just staggered about five seconds apart and it worked fine. If you upload at the same time you end up getting someone else’s picture.

I’ve been brainstorming ideas for next year in the library. Here goes:

  • Use to promote books (see the one I created for Tiger Eyes below. I think I’ll do this next year and alternate with book trailers.
  • Promote library events or book fairs
  • Communicate with parents or staff for library updates
  • Have students create their own thinglink on a specific topic (love the idea to include why they chose that photo). Students can discuss what they learned, link to video, create Google Docs or blogs and link their own content, etc.
  • Have groups create a thinglink with ideas that inspire them before starting a writing prompt
  • Showcase read alike books (use the cover of a popular book and have links to other suggestions)
  • Information about a novel before the class reads like author information, background knowledge.
  • Show teachers how to place content for Flipped Classroom resources (especially thinking math, science, social studies)
  • Have access to library resources (think flipped library) most commonly used visually

Have other ideas? I’d love to hear them?

5 Teaching Tools for Next Year

5 Teaching Tools for Next Year

So I figured if I was going to list five things I wanted to be better at next year, I should also think about five tools I wanted to use next year as well. 🙂

   spicynodesSpicynodes: http://www.spicynodes.org/

Spicynodes is a wonderful graphic organizer tool and bookmarking combined. I like that you do not have to have email to set up student accounts, so it is easy to use with any class. This year we only used it with AVID who made a Spicynode about a famous African American for Black History month. Several of those students used Spicynodes for other projects though, so they enjoyed the platform.  Spicynodes lets you add links, video, and pictures. You can embed into most websites or just share the link. I can’t figure out how to make it display right in WordPress though, but there is a link to flipped resources in an earlier post.

thinklinkThinglink: http://www.thinglink.com/

I learned about this website for the first time at TLA (library conference). What intrigues me most about this website is the amount of higher level thinking it allows. Students would choose a picture to represent a topic. They can then add links to video, text, or websites. When teaching in class I’d also want a reflective piece on why they chose that picture.  I’m trying with a class for the first time next week. Excited to see how it goes.  For the library, I want to use Thinglink as a vehicle for book promotion next year. I’ll link to the author website, book trailer, reviews, etc. This website does require email but not confirmation.

Popcorn MakerPopcorn Maker: https://popcorn.webmaker.org/  

I have not used Popcorn Maker at all but I’m intrigued. You find information on the web and add events like maps, articles, pop ups onto videos. It does require an account but I think that students might really get into this. We’ll see next year when I give it a try.

SocrativeSocrative: http://www.socrative.com/

Now that Socrative allows you to add pictures this is a fabulous free tool. Teachers create quizzes and students can log in on a computer or iPad; using the Socrative app) to answer the quizzes. Class results are shown instantly to the teacher so you can check for understanding and fix misconceptions. It is also easy to copy tests so you can rearrange the answer choices for different classes. One tip, be sure to clear camera between classes if using the same test. Students are sneaky and will just take a screenshot of the answer for the next class.

Webquests: http://webquest.org/

The above website is just one place to find webquests. A webquest takes students out into the web to search for specific content kind of like a scavenger hunt. They then use what they learn to answer a question; called a task in the webquest world. An example might be to use what they learned to design the cover of a magazine or a museum exhibit. Until recently I’d dismissed webquests as obsolete and outdated, but in a seminar I realized that the higher level thinking they promote is timeless. We probably won’t use many pre-created webquests, because it is better to customize your own, but I’m hoping to get some collaborative partnerships with history and science using these next year.

5 Things I Want to Be Better at Next School Year

5 Things I Want to Be Better at Next School Year

 

Number 1: Self-Reflection

Life is short and time is shorter. I need to be better about reflecting and being honest about what works and what doesn’t. If it doesn’t work don’t dwell…just fix it and try again. This also involves the students. No more learn and purge, I want to see them apply what they have learned at a higher level.

Number 2: Not Throwing out the Baby with the Bathwater

New doesn’t always mean better. I was brainstorming a list of cool things I’ve let fall aside; like foldables and webquests. Just because they are older doesn’t mean they have lost any value. Along with this, it also means that a failed lesson doesn’t always mean the platform is bad; maybe I just didn’t approach it correctly or have the right audience. Everyone (even a website) deserves another chance.

Number 3: Consistency

Next school year I’d like to blog consistently, create digital book talks, and upload podcasts. This year I had a lot finished but due to hosting issues they never got posted. That is a real goal for next year. For students I want to see them making more of their own Web 2.0 stuff. Our district has opened up the policy some on setting up student accounts, so I’m going to run full force and hope for the best.

Number 4: Book Talk More

This week I got to talk books for a WHOLE period with multiple classes. When does that happen? It was like crack for my brain. The students were laughing at me…but you know what? It works. Every book we discuss always gets checked out. Next year I’m going to sneak in one book talk every time kids come to the library. I might have to be quick, but I absolutely love seeing light bulbs click and this is a part of my job that is important. Sometimes I worry about the library being seen as “only about books” that I forget I am still about books.

Number 5: Balance

I tend to focus all my energy where I’m the most successful….and right now that is my professional career. When I’m not working I find myself thinking about what I’d like to do better or how I can next impact my students. While that is fine it is only a small part of who I am in the grander scheme. I am also a writer, friend, daughter, sister, cousin, singer, Bible Club director, assistant treasurer, etc. Married people may not understand this, but sometimes the longing that comes with being single creates an isolation that is tough to break through. Now, I know being single isn’t all I am, but it is a part of who I am. I’m a complex being with a lot of roles. The point is that I do a bunch of things, but do I really cherish these other roles? I don’t know, but I plan on being more present and finding out.