How Do You Start the New School Year as a Brand New Teacher Librarian?

Well, I start by collaborating with my inspiring colleagues. There is nothing like starting a new job to remind you how much we need to support each other as educators. Thank you, @msawoods!

Before school started, my colleague Amy Woods and I made a seventh grade orientation lesson involving QR codes. Instead of talking at the students for half an hour, we decided to build several Google Forms for students to access via QR codes. We made this as simple as possible. Students did not have to sign in to the forms or even give their names until they got to the exit ticket at the end.

We envisioned an active, noisy experience. We knew the downside going in: In this free form type of lesson, we couldn’t guarantee that students would “get” every single point about the library rules, norms, and routines. The upside is that students would have fun and they would hold on to the information that interested them. As an added bonus, students learned that their district-issued iPads have QR Code readers right in the camera! That feature came with iOS 11 last year, but not one student who visited the library knew about it.

Before turning students loose for the QR Code Scavenger Hunt, I went over a few standard things, such as my name and our library technician’s name. That slide deck is embedded below (or click HERE to open in a new window).

If you are interested in trying a QR code activity, you are welcome to make copies of the Google Forms in this folder: QR Code Scavenger Hunt Forms. You’ll have to make your own QR Codes. I used the Quick QRCode Generator extension from the Chrome Web Store.

The best part of every single class was the last 10 to 15 minutes when students browsed and checked out books. I loved seeing a line of students holding not one, not two, but three or more books to check out. It sounds cheesy but that is exactly why I got into this business.

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