Business Cards that Booktalk

I remember being a kid in elementary school (and middle school too, if I'm being honest) and getting really excited each time our local police officers drove through the neighborhood giving out football cards to my friends and me. It was a really neat way to connect; especially since I loved collecting things like trading cards.

Fast forward 30+ years and I haven't forgotten how those conversations and collecting those cards made me feel. That's one of the reasons why I ditched my formal business cards several years ago and started creating principal "baseball" cards.

Each year I update my baseball cards to reflect a sport or hobby I enjoy. The back of the cards include some fun facts and statistics like my favorite school lunch and favorite books. The cards also feature Augmented Reality technology. This might sound fancy, but it basically means that you can scan the baseball cards with a smartphone and a vivid video greeting pops up. It feels like the still photo on the baseball card comes to life!

We typically mail the baseball cards home or pass them out at Open House. In past years, parents have shared that the video greetings that are accessed via Aurasma's Augmented Reality app really left an impression on their children. Kindergarten students who are sometimes nervous to start in a strange (big) school felt more connected to me before school started. I'm sure not everyone accessed the supplemental video greetings using Augmented Reality....but I know some people did and it made a difference for them.

I'm excited to share a sneak preview of this year's baseball card video. It features three of my favorite "summer reads" and a super-short booktalk for each title. In addition to connecting with kids on a different level, I'm hoping to share my love of reading and invest in a culture that talks about choosing books in a joyful manner.

So...while this year's baseball cards are on the printing press, I'd love to learn how you booktalk. In what ways are you creating culture and sharing a love of literacy?

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Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 


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