Monday, November 29, 2010

Lecture Bible

I have what I call my 'regular' Bible, which is a cheap Bible that is a mess of dogears, stains, highlighting, pen & pencil notes, stickytabs, tape. It's good for study, but lousy for class: full of distractions. To avoid teaching from its encrusted pages, for years I've simply printed out the verses I need for a given class in the order I'll use them. That's fine, but then I teach from a piece of paper instead of the Bible; it's not the same for 6th-graders. They need to see The Book Itself be held; pages turned; words read.

This year I've dropped  paper printouts and have a second Bible, the Lecture Bible, for class. It's the same as the Regular Bible, but new, i.e., a new copy of the same NAB edition. I only mark in it what will be used in class. Here it is opened to Isaiah 53, part of the Isaiah-through-Malachi classes:

First, notice the numbered stickytabs at the top: those are the passages for this class, numbered in the order that I'll refer to them. If I fumble around more than 5 seconds to get to the next passage, the kids start to zone out, hence the idiot-proof numbers. There are 10 total tabs for this class; I arrange them so I can see the next number if possible. Tabs at the bottom are from prior classes; I will reuse them at least once. In the meantime they are out of the way, but can still be referred to.

Also see how tidy this page is: highlighting is limited to exactly what I'll be reading during class. Only what's relevant, and what we have time for. This page in the Regular Bible is a mess: good for preparation, bad for class.

With these numbered stickytabs on clean pages I'll have at least one full 55-minute period of smooth teaching and discussion, and if we run over (as we did this year), we simply continue in the next period.