Skip to main content

Book Club Fun

This year I went back and forth on whether or not to have my students partake in a book club (or literature circle, as most teachers call it).  I have had mixed success.  Some years many of the groups complained that they didn't like their books.  Some wanted to change books.  Some never finished their books.   The book club meetings sometimes lacked in the "discussion" department. Although I teach honors, some of my students don't even like to read! However, I decided to give it another try, but  I proceeded differently than in the past.
A1HGWCA36hL.jpg (1701×2560)
First of all, about three weeks before we started, I showed students the board approved books for book club.  I made it clear that I had plenty of copies of each book and that they were more than welcome to choose one of these books.  I told students that they had two weeks to research books they might like to read and to bring in a summary of each.  They were also told they could bring summaries of any of the board approved books.  One student asked if they were supposed to write the summaries! Uh, not sure how you write a summary of a book you haven't read-so no-just get it off the internet! Then, student met in their potential book clubs and shared their three picks.  The group then decided on their top three choices.  After that, I directed them to amazon.com to read reviews of their potential choices.  Finally, they came up with a decision.  This was, by far, one of the most worthwhile activities I have had students do in regards to book club!  
23017804.jpg (299×475)
Of course, students were required to have parent permission in order to read any book not on the board approved list.  Although I love to read, I am pretty selfish with my time and tend to read adult books.  Therefore, I am not familiar with many of the middle school titles out there.  One parent did not approve of her child's choice, but it was not big deal!  She just joined another group.  

Some of the book titles read by book clubs:

A Man Called Ove
The Fifth Wave
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Aster Wood
When
Silent Girls

In my next post, I will talk about how I changed up the jobs from the monotonous literature circle jobs!

Popular posts from this blog

Ditch those Reading Logs: Try Flipgrid Instead

If you've read my posts or follow me on Twitter, you know how I feel about pointless projects and homework!  This year I made it official and ditched homework.  It's the best decision I've ever made as a teacher.  My students are loving it, I am loving it, and I think most of their parents are loving it! I have completely transformed the way I run my classroom and feel like my students are more engaged and excited than ever. 

Student Example (Click to watch)

Like homework, I never felt quite right about assigning reading logs.  Whenever my own kids had to read a book on their own for school, they were initially excited. First, they were told they had to read twenty minutes each night. Then the dreaded reading logs began.  They had to write  down what pages they read, as well as a summary.  Urgh! I can only imagine lying on the beach with my own book and having to complete a reading log.  No thanks!  And I am not going to lie. I just might have signed one of my son's read…

Have a Dance Party Before Class Starts

This year I decided to play music as students are entering my classroom and before the final bell rings.  I had no idea what a difference it would make!  Why didn't I do this before?  It creates a positive, upbeat mood and seems to energize my students and ME! 



At first I thought they'd complain when I blasted disco tunes by artists like Chic, The Bee Gees, and Vickie Sue Robinson ("Turn the Beat Around").   I thought they'd groan when I played Bon Jovi, Journey, and Whitesnake. I thought they'd roll their eyes when I played clean versions of songs by Tupac and Snoop Dogg.  I really thought they'd lose it when I played Gypsy Kings.  NOPE!  They loved it!  I had NO idea that my kids would react they way they did.  Here are the results:






If I don't have time to put the music on, several kids will ask, "Where's our dance party?" I really like Pandora because I can create my own stations.  If you're looking for a way to create a positive vi…

Creating a Cell Phone Sanctuary

Over the past few years, I have noticed a change in my students.  Not only are they tethered to their phones, but they are more anxious than ever.  In the past two school years, I have had at least three students experience school anxiety so severe that they could not come to school.   Those are just MY students.  This year I have had one student leave our school after her mother spent three weeks trying to drag her to class each morning as her daughter screamed, cried, and sometimes refused to get out of the car.  According to an article titled "Teen Anxiety and Depression: the Kids are not Alright" published in 2016, "In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12 to 17 had had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30% of girls and 20% of boys–totaling 6.3 million teens–have had an anxiety disorder, according t…