Thursday, September 8, 2011

Freshman Orientations

Okay, I have to admit that I right now I am exhausted! But I'm also exhilarated. I just completed Day 7 of school, and, by distributing textbooks during Registration, I was able both to transition the library from a textbook warehouse to a full library by School Day 3, and to begin Freshman Orientations on Day 5. I just finished my first round of two-day Freshman Orientations. The first day was a lesson, using this Prezi file, in which I described various features of the library and had students guess which icon I was talking about and what the "app" would be called. Using this presentation file, I filled them in on their Teacher Librarian (me), Books and Reading, Research, Technology, Rules and Procedures, our after school tutoring program, our Virtual Library, and our Fun Activities and Programs. If you would like a copy of the basic "script," let me know.

This year, I added a second day to the orientation, a scavenger hunt, which included some questions using QR codes. Many thanks to Gwyneth Jones' QR Code Scavenger Hunt for inspiration and some of the questions. The students, by and large, were unaware of QR codes until I introduced them, but I am sure they will start seeing them all over now they know about them. I tried to make the activities a balanced combination of library culture, fun, and important skills. Now that I finished the first round today, I'm pretty happy with the results. Many of the students needing some coaching to get all the right answers, but I think they learned as part of the experience. I also think that most of them found it a positive, fun experience, which will encourage them to want to visit the library.

So, five Freshman English classes down, and 29 to go. But, round one, always the hardest, is at least complete!

If any readers are interested in using and adapting either the Prezi lesson or the Scavenger hunt form, please feel free.