Just Jump In! – #BookSnaps

When I realized it was #NoWorksheetWeek, I decided to jump right in with something I’ve been thinking about for awhile – #BookSnaps. (This idea originated with Tara Martin – Check out her website for the details.)

At this point in the year, I have spent a lot of time working with my striving readers on the skills they need to have more success as readers. We’ve been applying those strategies with our independent reading for a few weeks. We usually also practice with a group text, but I wanted to spend some time allowing students to expand their thinking from their choice reading.

My Process

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My sample using Prime Photos.
  1. Since I only have five Kindle Fire tablets and one of my groups has six students, I decided I would let students decide if they wanted to use a Kindle or a Chromebook to create their #BookSnaps.
  2. I made a sample using Prime Photos and Google Slides.
  3. I created a handout (Booksnaps – A How To) to guide students on what to include.
  4. We talked about the idea. I showed my samples, and I gave students some time to think about what they might want to do.
  5. The students made #BookSnaps.
  6. I printed out the finished products, students shared with their groups, and I posted the printouts for everyone to enjoy!

Making the #BookSnaps took students about 20-30 minutes. I definitely think they will get faster now that they are familiar with the technology.

Lessons Learned

  • Stop waiting for the “right time” to try that new idea. Just jump in! I wish I had started these a long time ago.
  • Students know less about how digital tools work than I anticipated. They don’t intuitively know how to work the Kindle, and inserting and editing the shapes, text, etc on Slides and Prime Photos was a learning process for all of them.
  • Some of my readers are still struggling with thinking about their reading. Although this has been our main focus for a lot of the year, I had a few who really had no idea what to say as the “expand your thinking” part of the task. This really showed me what we need to work on going forward.
  • The print and share was an important reflective tool. Students self-assessed their product naturally while sharing with their classmates.

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What’s Next

  • I plan to use the printed out #BookSnaps to talk about what types of things we noticed worked well and what types of things were not as successful. I’m hoping the students will naturally see what white text on a white page isn’t very easy to read.
  • We’re going to all use Flipgrid (up next for Just Jump In!) to respond to our reading this week. After that, we’ll alternate between the two and let students decide what will work best for them at that moment.
  • A few students asked about bringing their own devices, which I will probably allow next time. We’ll see how that goes.
  • I’m hoping to create some videos to explain my process using both Google Slides and Prime Photos that I’ll have available to students who need some additional instruction. We lost some time as students waited for me to help them.

Overall, I love the process of creating #BookSnaps with my students. It was a great way for them to respond to text in a more authentic way. I could really see who was thinking deeply about their reading, who was at a more surface level, and who is still struggling to think while they read. It was a great formative assessment tool to guide my future targeted reading lessons.

How have #BookSnaps worked for you? Is there a time you just “jumped in” to a new idea? How did that work out? I’d love to hear from you!

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