Saturday, August 29, 2009

Are you ready for this?

Many teachers who discover KBN immediately will be putting up new bulletin boards next week and writing their first day lesson plans. We understand that you will be busy if not overwhelmed.
      You see that blank bulletin board in Mrs. Uncle Henry's own classroom? I'm the aide who will have to stand high up on a wobbly ladder and put all of her new stuff up.
      So let me suggest a way you can have a much better day on day one. Skip the lesson plan on cartesian planetary motions using real planets. Instead, just set up as a favorite on the classroom computers and scratch these instructions on your chalkboard:

1. Organize yourselves into groups of 4 students.
2. Go to, register individually, and look around.
3. Download and print the three simple pages that show you exactly how to make different kinds of KBN books.
4. Then, download the microbook of your choice and make it.
5. Then, download the minibook of your choice and make it.
6. And next do the same with a luxbook.
    All of these books are made with ordinary letter-size paper.

       You may want to assign different groups to make a specific kind of book, so they all don't rush to make the same book, like 100 WORST JOKES OF ALL TIME. Classroom studies show that students race to get this book into their hands before all others. We need to explain why?
       Then, have each specialist group making books show their classmates in the other groups how to make books in each format and size, until everyone can make any form of book. Now maybe if you're lucky, you've reached recess and you can send everyone out to play while you flop on your desk for 10 minutes.
       You might find bookmaking somewhat tedious, personally, but not your students. They love this stuff. That's why, in many cases, it ends up being the students who teach their teachers how to set up something like a powerpoint project. And in fact making KBN books is really very easy. So now we've gotten you through recess. And you're much recovered.
      Next you announce that everyone in class, as registered members of KBN, should download, print, and put together one brand new KBN book that they can take home with them at the end of the day to show their parents, and read to them at home. The books in color are really classy, but it might be cheaper and perhaps strategically smarter to print books for a whole class by printing them only in the black & white versions – permitting your students to color them in themselves with color pencils. Or even to color in later at home.
      Plus, that way you can make printing and assembling a KBN book in color a special prize for turning in a super book report or doing anything else for which you might want to acknowledge award-level behavior or socially-responsible performance. Something which otherwise might receive a star.
      At this point it's probably time for lunch.
      So what should you do after lunch? Why, you should form reading circles and all read books together, of course. Then talk about the ideas encountered in the works, and maybe everyone writes an initial book report.
      While you stand up on a ladder trying to finish those bulletin boards.
      Let me know how it goes, will you?