Skip to main content

Book Club Wrap Up

I wanted to revisit how I conducted book clubs this year.  In a previous blog I talked about the importance of giving students the time and opportunity to find a book they are excited about reading! However, I found that changing up the jobs was also helpful in making this year's book clubs a  huge success.  

First of all, I gave students choices!  For example,  the character captain (aka person who finds passages that show character) could select from several activities such as: character report card, character cell phone, or character keyhole.
Students Must Think Abstractly to Come up with Symbols for Their Character


Character Report Card-Students Provide Textual Evidence and Analysis of the Selected Trait


 Students like choices!  Also, for the traditional literary luminary (aka person who finds meaningful, important passages), I required students to post their passages on a Google slide show that was shared with me.  Rather than have students just talk about the passages, I required each group member to respond to the passages on the Google slide.  As a result, I received thoughtful responses, everyone participated, and I could actually read their responses.  Instead of a summarizer for each meeting, I had students create a "matchbook" with a summary on the inside and a picture on the outside.  Students glued this onto a piece of card stock at the end.  I will use these with next year's book clubs as examples, as well as a way to get students interested in different books!

Outside of Matchbook

Inside of Matchbook
Finally, for the Lexicon Lieutenant (aka person who finds new vocabulary words), I required that the student create a Google Doc to share with me, as well as  the group.  The student had to post the word and definition, as well as the sentence from the book.  During book club, the group had to create new sentences using the words.  Again, everyone had to participate, and I could see what they had written and provide feedback!  These are just a few of the things I did this year to change it up.


And...what book club would not be complete without food?  So, on the last day, I allowed students to bring food and drinks.  I encouraged them to bring something that went along with their book.   Overall, we had a great time with book clubs this year!  The final assignment was to write a book review.  They will post it to our Kid Blog, and I will also encourage them to post it to Good Reads!
Fifth Wave Cupcakes!



Fifth Wave Fruit Cups-LOVE IT!

Popular posts from this blog

Bottle Flipping

Last week someone posted article on Facebook about the newest trend with middle schoolers-bottle flipping.  If you haven't heard of it, you probably don't teach middle school or have a child in middle school! Consider  yourself lucky! If you know about it, then you also know it's annoying as heck.  Kids (usually boys), toss a partially filled water bottle into the air so that it flips in midair.  The goal is to have the bottle land upright.  This year I have had to ask several students to put their water bottles away because they wanted to flip them.  I know,  I'm mean!  



After reading the Facebook article I thought, "Hey!  I bet I can incorporate this into a lesson somehow."  Using my Oreo lesson as a model, that's just what I did.  First, I found two different articles about bottle flipping.  I went through both looking for key vocabulary words.  I then typed out the sentences with the words and created an activity where students had to guess the definit…

Oreos in China and Read 180

A few years ago I read an article about what happened when Kraft introduced the Oreo to the Chinese in 1996.  It was not a success.  The Chinese thought the filling was too sweet-the cookie too bitter.  Kraft almost pulled the beloved cookie off the shelves. Instead, they began a quest to find out how to make the Oreo appeal to the Chinese. Enter the green tea Oreo, the mango Oreo, and an Oreo in the shape of a straw (not sure that still qualifies as an Oreo).  The revamped Oreos were a huge success! I found the article fascinating and decided to design a lesson around  it to share with my students.

First I showed them a news clip from CNN about the topic. Then, I taught them a few vocabulary words that appear in the article using Kate Kinsella's method.  Next, we read the article together and marked the text. I did a think aloud as I read aloud to them.  After that, students created a T-Chart listing the ten most important words in the text, as well as five main ideas from the tex…

Making Comments on Student Writing Meaningful

As any English teacher knows, we spend countless hours grading and commenting on student work.  What I realized after a few years of teaching was that many students did not read my comments at all; they just looked at their grade. Some didn't even look at the rubric!   However, many students valued my feedback and relished every comment.  I felt as though I was wasting my time on more than half of the essays.   As evident from the next essay the students wrote, the majority of the students did not heed the advice I gave in the previous essay.  I came up with a solution!  Using Google Forms, I created a detailed survey for my students to fill out about the comments they received on their writing.  I will include pictures of various questions and answers.  Better yet, I told them that all responses would be read and a graded  for the thoughtfulness.  I had a sub that day, so I created a link to the form in my daily blog post for my class!  SO easy!  Students were forced to go back t…