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It’s Bingo Time!

Earlier this summer, I went to an awesome conference that I give shout outs to all the time (The Innovative Library Conference- TILC), and I went to a session presented by Rebecca K. Miller and Julia Feerar that was about building collaborations with GAs who teach lower-level courses, faculty, and students outside of the one-shot sessions. It was a great session and I learned a lot of things that I hope to incorporate as we move to a new liaison model at my institution. Aside from that, one of the great things about attending sessions presented by teacher librarians is that I always learn awesome new strategies for engaging students, and I learned this one from them. After this session, I went back to work and talked to my instruction pal, Rachel, about it and she told me that she had done a BINGO game for a workshop with undergrads and that it went really well. So, I stole all of these ideas and used them!

Every summer, I do a session for my institution’s school library program summer institute. It is a really great program, set up like a mini conference. The students stay on-campus 2-3 days, and attend sessions that are required for a particular class, and others that they are interested in. In the past, I have not been in a room that had computers (though this year I was!), so I had been brainstorming ways to make the session more active and engaging for students. I decided to use Rebecca and Julia’s BINGO idea for this situation. What better group to test out a new active learning strategy than public school teachers?!? (Have I ever mentioned how much I love education students?).

This was really easy to implement. I found a free online BINGO card generator (there are tons out there, just Google it), and entered all of the important terms that I wanted them to focus on as we were going through the class and some of the other activities. Since we did end up being in a computer lab this year, I built in time for them to do things like- find a book, find a Caldecott award winner, use Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database to find peer books, and such. So the BINGO game did not really play a role in the class, aside from being something that they did as we were going through. But I had prizes for everyone as they made BINGO and they could come up and get a prize. It was a great way to add some fun to the session, and the students seemed to enjoy it.

The Cons: Some students didn’t remember to do the BINGO as we got into things, but that was o.k. I let them get a prize anyways 🙂

The Pros: It added a fun element to a full day of workshops, they got swag and chocolate, and it allowed them to see an outline of the key points of the workshop in a creative way. And, on a selfish note, this day is a bit of a marathon for me- 4 sessions in one day, pretty much back to back. So, both having the game built in and being in a lab gave me some “breaks” from just talking and showing them stuff.

I will definitely use this again with some other groups!

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