This canvas won't be blank for long.

Claim some space below and start fleshing out how you'll gamify your classroom or library this year. Leave questions or room for others to provide feedback if you'd like. DEFINITELY leave your name somewhere, too, so we know who to credit when we borrow the brilliant idea :)

Essay Quest - the gamification of a grade 4 personal essay unit

The grade four essay unit was new last year. It was a challenge to teach for a variety of reasons. One reason is that students have very little experience with the genre - no one pulls toddlers onto their knee and reads them essays. Another reason is that many children have no desire to write an essay because they don't understand when and why to use them in real life. A third reason the unit was a challenge is that following the Lucy Caulkins style of writing workshop, mini-lessons are taught but many children avoid using the strategies that were taught.

This little game is my first attempt at gamifying anything. I have warned the
that this will likely be a major fail and the kids may think it is lame. Even so, more signed up for the pilot than I can take.

The basic idea is to turn using the strategies into a questing game. I'm using Bitstrips to create the storyline and I'm embedding it all in a Google Site since our students are learning to use Google Apps.

You can view the game design here:

At the moment the design is grander than I'll be able to implement, but I had fun planning it.


Gamification of 5th Grade Quarter

Gamify one quarter's worth of Library Media content for use with one grade level (most likely 5th grade) as a pilot for what could be done in other grades. Focus on mastery of skills (maybe on research skills specifically). Create a bank of assignments that students can level up by completing (master or retry. no moving past a task unless mastered). Some assignments must have an assigned "entry level", being more difficult or involving a greater application of previously mastered skills.

Questions to consider:
- Will I keep the lessons/units previously taught, or invent something new for this 8-week test run?
- Use entire grade or just one class so that I can compare results?
- Will this just take place in Library Media, or will I involve the homeroom teacher in any way?


I'm working on both a PD program for other librarians in my district and a collaborative reading incentive program that I will pilot with 8th grade students. The details of the reading program are still being worked out, but the PD program can be found here. I am super excited by where things are headed.

The reading program has a passport theme. The basic idea is that students will earn "frequent flyer miles" for traveling to different locations through their reading. They'll earn bonus miles for pairing fiction and non-fiction reads and earn badges for completing different tasks. Most of the management will be completed in Edmodo but I also purchased these SWEET passports that students can use just to keep track of their selections. The teacher and I will stamp their passports as they check books in and out. I am super excited!

We still need to work out some basic requirements. While this constitutes independent reading for these kids, book choices will be 100% student choice - but some of the tasks for which they can earn badges will focus on reading strategies for both fiction/non fiction texts as well as some creative tasks.

If you've got any ideas to share, please do!


Library Decorating & Back to School Special Slidedeck!

Decorating tips from last year's TL Cafe w/ @Librarian_Tiff
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We also feature our Angry Birds friends!
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Don't forget to Rock the QR Codes at Back to School Night! and QR Code Scanning for Parents!


Gamifying Library Aide Program/Library Club

7th and 8th graders at our school can sign up to be Library Aides as an elective. I get two assigned students, but I always have 6th graders who hang around here and want to help. I think it's time for a library club, and I want to organize by gamifying!

Win for me:
  • I'll have a more consistent group of volunteers, rather than students who drift in for a month then leave
  • I'll be able to judge the strength of each student and assign them jobs they're good at and that they enjoy
  • I won't spend as much time reiterating procedures

Win for students:
  • Library club gives some of the less social students a place to go
  • Students will gain more confidence as they develop competence in different aspects of the library
  • Students will hopefully make new friends as they meet kids from different elementary feeder schools
  • Students will learn digital citizenship as they create and comment on peer book reviews, create podcasts, etc.

Here are some of the tasks for which students can earn badges:

  • Order in the Library (if it's ever restored online. If not, I'll create some short Dewey tests)
  • Fiction filing
  • check out procedures
  • adding book reviews to Destiny
  • creating Resource Lists in Destiny
  • creating podcast book reviews
  • Mastering Google search tips to coach others
  • Designing displays
  • Creating QR codes to add reviews and updates to books
  • Creating digital book displays--adding to digital photo frame, creating Prezis
  • Recording weekly library updates for our TV news

I just decided to add this late last night, after thinking what part of the library hasn't been gamified by someone already:) I will create spiffier names for each of the categories (there will be ninjas in there!), and will have an extra special badge for those kids who volunteer at the end of the year during textbook collection.

I had six super 6th grade helpers at the end of last year, and I know they want to help again. If so, they can be mentors for the incoming 6th graders. If students get involved in this program in 6th grade, they can sign up to be Library Aides for one period in 7th or 8th grades. I'll then have awesomely trained Library Aides--another epic win for me!

Feedback, creative names for the badges, etc., etc. are very welcome!

Aaaand, 2 hours later, I have a parent volunteer specifically for the Library Club! (I really need a cooler name for that!) Feeling the fiero!!