Readbox Re-Launch

May 27, 2020

Distance Learning is not a term I thought I would become familiar with during my 2019-20 school year.  I'm sure it looked very different for all of us.  But one thing we probably all have in common...these past few months have not been easy.  Stepping into summer, I can look back and say, for certain, that I have learned a thing or two.

Learning through distance learning

My day to day has been filled with lots of parent communication, lesson planning, lunch bunches, and one on one reading groups.  There has also been a lot of professional development, which brings us to today's topic..."Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student" by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani.  This image from John Specncer's website gives you a glimpse into the book.

the launch cycle

The authors go through each part of the launch cycle with definitions, examples, failings, and past experiences.  Through the reading and conversation, I was able to really reflect upon challenges I have faced within my teaching career, how I navigated ideas, reflected upon the "prototypes" I created, and launched the ideas within the school.  And what I discovered is that once the "launch" is over, the cycle really does begin again.  There is more room to grow, make better, and evolve. 

The Readbox is one "launch" that I want to take another look at.

In 2015 with the help of several teachers, I launched a Readbox for students to check out books during dismissal.  The idea came from a need that we saw within our school: children did not have enough books at home to read. Over the past five years, the box has changed.  Ideas have been tried.  Some failed and some succeeded.  But this past year brought on a new set of challenges.  There was building construction, building changes, multiple classroom moves, and the virus.  This left the Readbox underutilized. 

Readbox then and now

As I thought about the "re-launch" of the Readbox in the future (who knows what next year looks like), I wondered, "how can I support students to take more ownership for the Readbox?"  There are a lot of potential ideas to this question but, for now, I will start with one possible solution by using Flipgrid.

Through this platform, students can create short videos to share with the rest of the class, or in this case the school building.  I have three topics:

First of all, I can share books in the Readbox that students may enjoy by recording a book talk.  Second, students can share a Readbox book they have checked out through a video recommendation, a poster they create, writing of an alternative ending, or some other creative outlet they discover.   Third, students can request a book for me to purchase.

These videos could be completed at home or classroom centers.  My hope is to add a QR code to the front cover of the Readbox books to allow students easy access to the Flipgrid.

This is a start.  As I advertise, monitor, and reflect upon this feature, changes can be made.  But, for now, it feels good to apply this new learning and to look towards positive changes for the future of the Readbox.

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea, Emily! I'm also excited that you chose to blog as a way to share your learning through taking the book study. I'm going to look through some of your posts and content! :-) I love blogs!


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