IPICK: Choosing a Just Right Book

Every year at the beginning of the year, teachers ask me to do lessons on choosing a “just right book”.  While sometimes the focus is just on finding words that you know using the “five finger rule”, I like using the IPICK model because it is more inclusive of all of the pieces it takes to find a just right book.  IPICK stands for:

  • I=I choose my books
  • P=Purpose
  • I=Interest
  • C=Comprehend
  • K=Know most of the words  (this is really where the five finger rule fits)

Each year, I show videos of students singing a song about IPICK.  There are several examples on Youtube.  However, I know that our students are using this strategy in various classes, so when I heard a 3rd grade teacher reminding her students to use IPICK, I asked her if she had some students who might be interested in making a video.  Of course, they were very interested!

For about 45 minutes, 3 students and I met together.  We planned what we might do during the video.  Then, we started recording with an iPad.  After we filmed one take, we watched it and thought about what we needed to change.  Each time, the students made more and more suggestions and their video improved every time.  Here’s the video they created during our time together.


This year, I want to continue to listen for opportunities for students to participate in creating content in our library and be a bridge builder to get that content to a global audience for our students.

5th grade Student Math Tutorials

Three students filming their tutorials

Ms. Cross’ 5th grade ELT class has been doing some amazing work demonstrating various aspects of their math standards.  Each student took a different standard and found ways of demonstrating that standard through drawings, manipulatives, and explanation.  She was so impressed by their work that she thought it would be helpful for the students to create tutorials on their math components that could be used as mini-lessons or review sessions throughout the year in class.  The tutorials could even be used by other classes.

In planning for this, we thought that students should have options for how they might document their process in solving various math problems.  One option was using Glogster to create a review poster.  Students would have written components, video or audio components, and possibly images of their work.  Another option was to use the iPad to film a tutorial using all the pieces that had been created during the project.

Clare sets up her recording booth on a media center table

So far, one student has chosen Glogster & iPad and 5 students have chosen the iPad.  These 6 students explored their options on these tools and did some initial experimenting to see how each tool worked best.  Then, students spread out around the media center and used their tool to begin creating.  I conferenced with each one to talk about what was working, what they had questions about, and what they might consider trying.  On their own, students met with one another to show their work in progress and give one another feedback.

After getting all the pieces in place for creating their final product, the six students worked one final time in the media center to create their videos on the iPads.  Their videos were uploaded to dropbox on the iPad, downloaded into My Videos under their accounts, and then put into their teacher’s network dropbox.  I took the videos and also uploaded them to our media center YouTube page.  Much of my time during these final steps was spent troubleshooting and also showing a few of the students how to do the many steps to get the videos to where they needed to be.  After that, these students helped the other students.  I love how quickly students figure things out and how willing they are to teach and support one another!

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