Agent Codee Books: Student selection of reading materials
It's vital that students be allowed to choose reading materials of interest to them. This fosters an interest and love of reading. This video is part of a longer video I produced on Classroom Teacher and Librarian collaboration.
Tags: loopy library librarian reading elementary teacher collaboration valentine mckillop parody comedy student read book selection
Added: 2 years ago
["Agent Codee Books: Library Change Agent" appears on screen, as the scene opens with a man looking through a magnifying glass]
NARRATOR: He's an agent of change.
[cut to Codee Books standing in front of a green screen depicting a world map]
NARRATOR: He's an agent for achievement.
[cut to Codee Books standing in front of a green screen depicting a shelf of old books]
NARRATOR: He brings the very best books to those who need them most.
[cut to a little girl standing in front of a green screen depicting a beach, as the sound effect of a baby crying plays]
NARRATOR: The bored.
[a picture of Codee Books appears, and the little girl is suddenly holding a book entitled "Look Alikes" and smiling]
[cut to another little girl standing in front of a green screen depicting London's Big Ben clock tower]
NARRATOR: The clueless.
[Codee Books suddenly appears and throws a book at her head, ninja throwing star style, then cut to the little girl holding the book and rubbing her head]
GIRL 1: [annoyed] Owww ... Oh.
[she suddenly looks down at the book and smiles]
GIRL 2: Oh my goodness, this is a cool book. Cool, wow.
[cut to another little girl sitting on a bench in front of a green screen depicting the Golden Gate Bridge, as Codee Books reaches under his trenchcoat and pulls out a book]
NARRATOR: The children.
[she takes the book and smiles, then Codee gives a thumbs up before walking off camera]
NARRATOR: He's a force for good. He's ... Agent Codee Books!
[cut to Codee standing in a large room looking at a video montior depicting a man wearing a grey-haired wig and bright pink butterfly-style sunglasses]
CODEE BOOKS: What is it, Chief?
CHIEF: Agent Codee Books, we've found a secret library code embedded deep within the text.
[the monitor shows several scanned pages with various bits of text highlighted with yellow magic marker]
CHIEF: You must dig it out and use it for the good of all students!
[cut to a young woman wearing dark sunglasses and a black hoodie]
NARRATOR: Codee Books is constantly battling the agents of L.E.X.I.L.E. ... "The League to EXterminate Interesting Literary Exploration!"
[cut to a shot of Codee Books striking a heroic pose with his magnifying glass, as "Student choice = Student success" flashes on screen]
NARRATOR: Agent Books believes that if students read materials they are interested in, it will help promote and increase interest in reading overall, and lead to higher achievement.
[cut to the L.E.X.I.L.E. agent sneaking around the library, when she finds one of the young girls reading a book]
LEXILE AGENT: This book is way above your level! Let's look for something easier, and less interesting to you!
[cut to Codee Books looking through his magnifying glass]
CODEE BOOKS: Hmm!
[cut back to the agent and the little girl]
GIRL 2: But I really wanna work on it! I talked to my Mom and she already said she'd help me!
[cut to Agent Books sneaking up behind the agent, then looking at the camera and putting a finger to his lips]
LEXILE AGENT: Sorry kid, not this time!
[she grabs the book out of her hands, then Agent Books reaches in and takes the book from her, before tossing it back to the girl]
CODEE BOOKS: Run! Check it out, quick! I'll take care of this guy!
[the girl runs off]
LEXILE AGENT: So, Agent Codee Books! We meet again!
CODEE BOOKS: That's right. Only this time ...
[he takes an "Arthur" book and opens it, as flames shoot out of the pages]
CODEE BOOKS: Things are gonna be different.
Karen Rose used to be a techno-weenie, anxious about using computers and confounded by PowerPoint.
During her final presentation in an education technology class at the University of Oklahoma, she deleted a key computer file. The professor showed mercy.
"She told me, 'I'll give you credit for the presentation as long as you promise you won't give up on technology,' " Rose recalled.
To say she hung in there is an understatement.
Rose - a third-grade teacher at McKillop Elementary in Melissa - recently went to Denver to collect the International Society for Technology in Education's award for outstanding teacher of 2010.
The group, representing 80 professional associations and more than 100,000 teachers, cited the many ways Rose uses technology in her classroom, including guiding students to create digital portfolios.
Her students do videos, podcasts, PowerPoints, animation and other wizardry. Her classroom Web page lists 50 technology-enhanced projects from last year ranging from "proper nouns" to "poverty."
One video shows her kids doing a Texas version of "The 12 Days of Christmas," with pecan trees, bluebonnets and mockingbirds subbing in for traditional gifts. Students wrote the script and shot and edited all the video.
"My focus is not on them learning a specific software," she said. "It's on them being creative, learning to express themselves and learning to work together."
Rose is on a roll. About to begin her ninth year of teaching, she has been honored by the Texas Computer Education Association (which nominated her for the International Society for Technology in Education award). Her class also won a national competition sponsored by the education technology company eInstruction. That yielded a $30,000 technology makeover for McKillop, in northern Collin County.
She became a technology convert in her first teaching job when a patient mentor teacher and enthusiastic kids helped her realize the advantages.
"I quickly discovered that with the computer, anytime we used it, there was more focus," she said. "All the kids - boys and girls - were very engaged and motivated."
Rose also married well, technologically speaking.
Her husband of seven years, Doug Valentine, is the librarian at McKillop. He has students do video book reviews and lots of computer-assisted research. His own "Dr. Loopy" educational videos have earned him a big following on TeacherTube (she has also played a starring role in several of his videos, portraying characters ranging from The Bionic Librarian to the evil agent of L.E.X.I.L.E.).
For his innovative use of technology, Valentine was named the Association of Texas Professional Educators' special services educator of the year for 2009-10.
"They're a dynamic duo," said Cheryle Gonzales, who recently retired as McKillop's principal. "It's amazing what their kids do, and it's all kids. Karen asks for the kids that have challenges."
Rose and Valentine - employees of the 1,400-student Melissa Independent School District - are recognized enough now that they get e-mails from other educators, asking for advice. And they're always scouting for new technological tools and how those might be applied in the classroom.
"We never unplug," Rose said. "It's constantly a discussion in our house." AT A GLANCE: Tips on teaching with technology
Karen Rose and Doug Valentine from McKillop Elementary in Melissa have been honored for their use of technology in teaching. Here's their advice:
* Remember that what's technology to most adults is just the way things are for kids. They are not afraid to do it wrong.
* Don't be intimidated. Find one new thing to learn, get comfortable with it and keep moving forward.
* Always try out a new tool yourself before using it in class. Read the FAQ sections of websites and see what other educators are saying.
* Never underestimate what young people can do. That goes for technology or anything else you might be teaching. It's amazing to see what they can accomplish if you give them a chance.
* Don't be afraid to learn right along with your students. Discovery is a vital part of learning.
* Find and read blogs and wikis written by teachers and librarians. There is some great information out there by people using technology every day.
* Find out what your kids are interested in and figure out a way to use that in your lessons.