I just read this article, I really liked it, and I'm thinking about how to apply it to our school library. Hmmm....
Building Excitement Into a Classroom | Scholastic.com
Brain research shows that learning is heightened when students encounter something unexpected. In the article, this elementary school teacher describes how he creates reality-TV-style anticipation in the classroom, followed by the surprising "reveal." I think I could use these...
1) a "Top Secret" sign on the door: Students haven't seen our new carpet and new library theme decorations. I could put a "Top Secret" sign on the door so that students would wonder what was waiting for them inside. I could also do this before the Book Fair, when the library changes appearance once again!
2) A treasure box: He talks about the treasure box all year, but doesn't open it until the end of the school year. I could do this with a promotion, like reading books from the Bluebonnet list, and only open the treasure box at the party for our Bluebonnet readers. (I don't think I could stand the anticipation of waiting all year to open the box!) I think that would be a powerful incentive for students to read their 5 Bluebonnet books so that they can go to the party and see what's in the box!
3) Research Missions: When we are starting a research project in the library, I could use his strategy of taping a paper that says "MISSION" on the outside to the board or wall, playing Mission Impossible music, and reading the paper, describing the research project as a mission to be completed.
Can you think of other ways to incorporate his strategies into our school libraries?