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Speed Dating in the Classroom
They must read the cover, front and back flaps, and begin reading the book during the dating period. Scatter books on the tables according to the levels that are most appropriate. On this table put several exciting, appealing books face down.
Teachers report how almost all of the students love the books they chose, and how quiet the room is with them all reading. The pupils were not only able to speak to experts in a career area of interest to them, but to also speak to others from a wide variety of different career areas. They were asked to sit at a table with others who had the same question. Less mature students freshmen and sophomores often benefit by having the worksheet keep them on task as they move from table to table. This is always a good idea as it can sometimes offer up careers they would not otherwise have known about or considered.
If a class is smaller than average, I take chairs away from each table. This is to ensure that there is an adequate variety of books that will appeal to both genders at each table. This enabled them to cross reference their new understanding with model responses. At this point, I pass out one chocolate kiss to each student, because, as I like to tell them, the perfect date ends in a kiss! Each student had to move around the room and meet with another student but not one who also had the same question as them.
Arrange tables with no more than four seats at a table. This format of mentoring is proving to be a popular way of Mentors and pupils meeting and forming on-going relationships. The conversations between students demonstrated their understanding of their question and by the end of the lesson their knowledge of all of the topics had improved quite dramatically. Provide a variety of genres and an even mix of books with boys as a main character and girls as a main character. When finished, they swapped their answers with a partner and marked it with the use of a mark scheme.
When choosing a book, the first thing we notice is the cover. An evening that was not just full of merriment but full of practical advice then ensued. They should, however, focus on one book, even if they collect more books along the way. As the activity progresses, I watch that students read and engage with the books. Then I let the boys fill in the other seats.
As each student came into the class, they were given one question each. After reading how other media specialists set up their programs, I came up with a plan that works well in my library. We want a person to have something in common with us, and we want a date to be interesting. At each seat, include a worksheet if appropriate. Without using any notes, they had to write the answer to the questions based on the information they had just learnt.
Set up a timer for the dates. Most of our sessions are between three and five minutes long, depending on the attention span of the students. For older students, the worksheet is less effective and inhibits their engaging with the books.
Given that the class is quite big and there is such a huge range in ability levels, I found this lesson worked fantastically well. Similarly, we want a book to be interesting, and often we want to read about subjects or settings that are familiar to us. For the rest of the period, students would browse the stacks in search of a book, find one quickly, and then sit down and chat with their friends until the bell rang. If I shared a dozen books and half of them were actually checked out, I was happy. Try to provide books per student per table.
When students come in, I have them stand in a group away from the tables and begin by asking who is familiar with speed dating sometimes, even freshmen have done speed dating! Point out the table numbers and the rotation during the dating. When everyone is seated, difficulties dating after divorce let the dating begin!
With some modifications, I have used this basic procedure with all grade levels, from freshmen to seniors, from resource classes to advanced placement students. If you anticipate four students at a table, there should be books total on the tables. This results in their making an informed choice before they check out the book, and the book they choose will be one they enjoy reading. Every student including those who I thought may not engage that well were completely on task for the whole duration of the lesson.