|Fall Book Fair, 2007 (Woodland Springs Elementary, Keller, TX)|
In a school of 800 students, if you schedule both a preview and purchasing time for each class, you are essentially trying to squeeze 80 classes into four days. That's 20 classes EACH DAY--no wonder we are tired!
My current school has approximately 850 students enrolled. Three years ago, I just happened to receive my fair on the Tuesday before my fair was scheduled to start. Normally, I would have left the book fair sitting in a corner somewhere until setup on Thursday or Friday afternoon. When I received my book fair that Tuesday, I went ahead and started setting up. Since the book fair was announced for the following week, I took my time setting up, doing it over the course of a couple of days, between my regularly-scheduled classes.
As my classes came in for their regular library time, I allowed them to look around the partially set-up area. Advantages to early set-up:
- Students can preview as you set up. No, it won't be everything in the fair, but they'll still be excited about it.
- Students LOVE to help out! Get them involved by allowing them to move tables and chairs, set up table displays, tape down small items near the cash register (see #4 below), number and hang the posters, and put up book fair posters around school.
- There's no rush to set-up. I have all week.
- As I set-up, I get to really browse the fair, so I know what books we have and where they are located.
- I am almost always finished with set-up by Thursday or Friday, which gives my students extra time for browsing and sales.
- I don't have to come up with a lesson for my regularly-scheduled classes. The book fair browse/checkout IS their lesson. If nothing else, pop in the book fair video for them to watch.
I liked the early set-up so much that I now request my fair be delivered "as early as possible," which is usually on the Monday or Tuesday prior to my scheduled week (giving me 2-3 extra days to spread out my classes).
Next tip: Abolish preview day!
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