Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Clubs- Week ONE!

SO fun. Seriously. Like I mentioned before, sometimes reading workshop can get stale. The kiddos robotically move from independent reading to partner reading and you can see the spirals in their eyeballs as they recite their partner prompts: “What did you read today?  What was the problem? What was the solution?” Blah. It was such a joy to hear them back in November- but we need a revival. We need something new and fresh. We need book clubs!  They have been super refreshing. I wanted them to feel like a real book club so I allow them to bring in snacks from home and a water bottle. They have been asking to form their own book clubs, which makes me feel like the most amazing teacher in America. So proud.

 We spent the last session chatting about getting prepped for book club success. You can read about that here. Now I’d love to share what I’ve been doing during the first week. I’ve included the scripting for my mini lessons. I usually type them out like that in my lessons so I thought I’d share! We are in a CHAPTER BOOK SERIES book club cycle this time.  For a lot of kiddos, this is the first time I’ve officially taught how to navigate through a chapter book.

The major teaching points for this 3 week cycle are:

Day 1-  Readers consider the order of books in a series.  How do we read them?
Day 2-  Chapter book readers use a different kind of book log.
Day 3- Partners decide if they will read the same titles or separate titles.
Day 4- Readers keep track of the characters that are introduced.
Day 5- Reading clubs reflect on their work as a group.
Day 6- Readers keep track of the story by using chapter chunks.
Day 7- Readers keep track of words and phrases that confuse them.
Day 8- Chapter book readers know when they’ve lost their way.
Day 9- Chapter book readers need to warm up when they read continuously.
Day 10- Readers keep track of their characters as they change over time.
Day 11- Readers focus on dialogue. It can get tricky. Follow closely.
Day 12- Readers infer how a character feels and uses text evidence to support those inferences.
Day 13- Noticing patterns within a series. Is there a rhythm to your book series?
Day 14 We notice the big ideas of a series. What does the author tend to write about?
Day 15- Readers are moved to take action. What would you like to do?

Reflections on book club so far:

I love them. I wish I had about 15 minutes a day to meet with each club to help scaffold their conversations and book talks but I don’t. At best, I see two clubs a day. I felt bad until I realized that I really only saw two guided reading groups during regular workshop. The most interesting thing is that I am so used to spending all of my time with my lowest readers to work on decoding strategies- and I still am...but I’m finding that my HIGHER readers need me the most in club! Listen in on this conversation that I scripted between three Magic Tree House Readers and myself:

Me: So guys, I have to be honest, I’ve never read a Magic Tree House book so I’m really hoping to learn a lot from you guys. Tell me what’s going on!
Student 1: Well, they____ and _____ are fighting a dragon.
Me: Wow so your characters names’ are __ and A___ - do those characters show up in any of your books?
Students 2 and 3- yes. We sketched them on our Meet the Cast sheets and noticed the same traits. This character is adventurous.
Me: So are they just good friends then?
Student one: no- they are brother and sister.
Student 2: (crazy look on her face like, “huh?!”
Me: Student 2, you look surprised- what are you thinking?
Student 2:  I thought they were just friends. I didn’t think they were brother and sister. I never noticed that they were siblings.
Student 1: Well, on this page (feverishly turning pages) they are talking to their dad and they go to bed in the same house. I was just inferring.
Me: Wow! This sounds like an excellent conversation. I love how Student One shared thoughts and used text evidence. That shows you are really paying attention. And student two- I was impressed at your learning. I noticed how you noticed that you were a little confused on your face and you didn’t just ignore it. You took the time to wonder and question. That’s what a good reader would do.

I might be alone here, but I cringe when I see kids with big chapter books and I know I haven’t had a chance to really work with them on the skills that you need to truly understand them.  Conversations like the one about give me joy because I know they are digging deeper and not surface reading.

I've just added these documents to my TpT store if you are interested. These are meant to be scaffolds. I don’t want them going to the 4th grade and asking for their character sketch sheet. I want them just instinctively start sketching and tracking characters and words that they don’t know in their reader’s notebook. Hopefully with enough exposure, they will make this second nature and dig deeper into their books!

Click the photo below to purchase!

Oh and Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

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  1. I love this post and you are THE CUTEST! Pinning! Happy Tuesday!

  2. This is so cool. I too have been feeling like oh, we need to mix things up. I also love the picture of your kiddos covering their faces with their books for the post. So creative!

    1. thank you!! I think we all could use a little mixing up about this time of year!!