Does anyone have any great ideas for book clubs? We went through our first round of them, and I was disappointed. I read Kathy Collins Reading For Real this summer, but still had trouble organizing, getting kids to follow through, and also getting them to engage in conversation.
I teach third grade and they seem to need more guidance than older kids. I give them a sheet to work on. I preview vocabulary and they write down what the words mean and then check them off when they find them. Then, depending on what I am focusing on, I write generic questions for them to answer. How is the character feeling? Why? What are some character traits? Why does the character do what he/she is doing? And then I have them do a quick retell because third graders really need practice at that. Main characters, setting, problem in the chapter, 3 main events. Then we discuss. I keep the questions the same for the whole book. Then when they are done they write a book review as a team and read it for the news. They use this template:
Then they each read a part for the news show in the morning. It gets the other kids motivated to finish their book with their book club.
It is a little more work because I pull out tricky words from each chapter but I have really seen growth from my on-level and above-level readers. My on-level readers finally know the difference between emotions and character traits, lol! After working on the same questions for the entire book it is drilled into their minds!
I teach a mini lesson for a focus skill that I want students to apply as they read. I give a sheet for students to fill out. This will be shared with their book club. I give time for students to work on their own and fill in the sheet. (5 or 10 min)
Students meet with their book clubs.
They talk about the focus skill and share their sheets.
They review what happened in their book the last time they met.
They read a chapter together.
They have a first, next, then, last conversation about what they just read.
Each group member gives the author a STAR and a WISH.
They decide how far they want to read on their own before the next meeting.
I have a few clubs that prefer to read alone and do not like to read together. Those groups share or reread an exciting part together instead of reading a chapter together.
I move around the room listening in on and meeting with groups. After making sure everyone is on track I usually spend the bulk of my time with my lower groups. I make sure that I meet longer with each group at least once a week. I check in with each group every time we have book club and write down what chapter they are reading and check for understanding and how it is going.