Time for Book Club #sol18
March 12, 2018
A few weeks ago in fourth grade, the teachers had a book tasting. You might have witness this before, but this was my first time to witness one in person. The most wonderful thing was the students moving from table to table sampling books and chatting about them, taking notes, and considering whether these books could be their new friends. The students were happily considering each on their own merit. What I loved the best was… the teachers. The team read the books and talked about them ahead of time. They were excited to share them with the students and of course, their excitement was catching. The whole experience was amazing.
As the teachers matched kids to books to book clubs, I talked to many of them about their matches, about their lead-in to the clubs, and about how they would continue to promote students learning how to be good book club members. I thought of the book clubs I have been in and how those books I read with those friends became friends as extensions.
Our fourth grade team chose these books for clubs. (Historical Fiction Calkins)
It’s a pretty good mix of times, experiences, culture, and social justice themes. Fourth grade is struggling a little with Love that Dog, as it is ‘easier’ to read that some of the other groups’ books which messes with timing. The plan is to mix in some short text to layer on comparative pieces and types of reading during the next weeks with all of the clubs.
Third grade is beginning book clubs too during their Character Studies Unit (Calkins). They are not offering the same titles across the team due to availability. In my consult class, the teacher was considering the following titles.
The third graders reading levels and inconsistency in talk makes their book club work a little trickier. This wise teacher is going to mix reading and talk each day to keep kids thinking in their books.
Though these books clubs in the intermediate grades have lofty goals: theme work and character work, even the primary students can benefit from partner or double partner work in reading. Talking about books, even with teacher scaffold, gives students more room to think. Think in productive ways. Think in open ways that encourage different ideas, growing ideas. Book clubs build social constructs. Book clubs encourage reading and build reading muscles.
There are so many marvelous tools available in the Calkins Reading Units of Study to promote reading partnerships and small clubs. Some to get you started might be:
The beauty of the UOS study reading is that you can fairly seamlessly move up or down through the grade level offerings to meet the needs of your particular classroom group.
Book clubs do change the tempo of a class. When launching clubs be prepared to let the students take the lead. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?
Teacher reading recommendations
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