being a teacher

Virtual Book Speed Dating – A Tool for Online Book Browsing

I am starting virtually all first quarter on Tuesday and getting actual books into the hands of my 7th grade students has been at the forefront of my mind. With the help of our incredible librarians, we have a twice a week pick up system set up after kids have requested books, but I wondered; how can I book talk a lot of books quickly like I normally would in our classroom so that kids can start reading?

Our book wall will not be browsed by students for awhile

Asnwer; virtual book speed dating. I happened to catch this tweet and share from Haley Lewis

To see the original, click the picture

And knew that I could do the same. I wanted to make sure I used a wide range of books both maturity level and format/genre, and I knew I wanted to make sure I had multiple copies of the books on this first round so that all kids can hopefully get the book they want.

After browsing through our book club sets, I had my list of titles and created this slide show for students to browse through. Using Loom, which is my favorite tool right now for recording my screen – it is so easy – I added a video explanation, and also created a simple Google form for students to be able to request a book.

So the second week of school, students will be asked to browse through this slide deck and find some great books they want to try. They will be able to request books and then pick them up the following week, if a child cannot pick up their book then I will get it safely to their mailbox or other pick up point. I am excited to try this method out to see if it will help get kids reading or keep them reading. I will keep track of who gets which books in a simple spreadsheet so that, hopefully, I will know where our books end up.

Click the picture to see it

I wanted to share this idea, in case you were wondering how to do something like this. I am so grateful for all of the ideas shared right now, so if you want, you can absolutely make a copy and change the titles to fit your students.

If your district or conference are interested in bringing me in virtually or live throughout the school year, please see information here. I have been supporting teachers remotely and in-person as they plan for meaningful literacy instruction in an in-person, virtual or hybrid model throughout the years and would love to help others as well.

8 thoughts on “Virtual Book Speed Dating – A Tool for Online Book Browsing”

  1. Thank you for posting this information. I used your Book Browsing slideshow format to make one of my own for my students (who are a mix of in-person and online). Thank you for your inspiration!

  2. I am definitely going to use this as a Covid-friendly way for kids to “shop” for books! I would consider having kids split their screens, so google form one side and the slide show on the other! Thanks for another great idea!

  3. Good Evening,

    This is simply a thank you for this amazing resource. You are so very generous to share this! We started in person last week with some students at home joining class via Zoom. We also have virtual classes as well. I have been following you the past few years and am so thankful for your resources, passion, and encouragement. This is my 18th year teaching, and I am always growing and learning.

    Thank you! Jody Drake

  4. I absolutely love this resource and can’t wait to use it with my high school students. All of my students have a diagnosis of special education and I think the visuals involved here will help them locate books they may be interested in. I am struggling to try to figure out the Google Form though, Is there a way to see your example? I am trying to find an efficient way to gather the ranked books.

  5. I also spent 4 hours recreating the virtual speed dating power point from the ones made by you and Haley Lewis. Thank you soooo much. I created it for students in grades 4 – 8 for my college class, and they absolutely loved it. I tried to use as many new books as I could and books for Spanish speakers because half of my class are students who will teach in an all Spanish speaking school. I posted my power point on 180 Days Discussion Novel group if you are interested in downloading it. Thanks again

  6. Thanks for sharing this idea. I can see a lot of value for the next time we delve into the world of online learning here in Australia.

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