I blew it! What was I thinking?
Twitter Chats are easy. A few questions. A few responses. Let’s talk. And then taking my turn on writing a summative blog post. Predictable patterns.
Book clubs . . . What’s the format? What’s the end goal? What’s my role? More questions than answers. And each club . . . renegotiating the roles and the expectations.
Check. Deadlines met.
Check. Responses entered.
Check. Make no waves. Agree with the participants
Check. Check. Check.
I was focused on the product and got lost in FEAR!
I was worried if it was good enough and was frozen in time!
I rushed to task completing and forgot it was about the thinking!
This was the format for my early book club participation and it has followed me around worse than the groundhog’s shadow ever since. Book clubs were a place of similar thinking; thinking outside the box resulted in social ostracism.
I went underground as a reader as I have had a LOVE/HATE relationship with book clubs. Some have been fun. Some have been tedious. All have provided learning. But what was that learning?
I love talking about books. Mary Howard and I talk about a tweet, a blog post, or a book on a regular basis. Her reading is also voracious! At CCIRA, Regie Routman handed me a book, I thumbed through it, and I had to order it. Penny Kittle told me about a book and I forwarded the title also to my sister and a niece. I hadn’t even left Maria Walther’s session and I was forwarding the book list. Reading and talking about books is fun!
And then last night I watched this video of Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher. You can watch it too if you are a member of the Summer Book Love Club 2019. What do you notice? What would you name as the key points of the video?
And because the link does NOT work if you are NOT a member, here are the TOP 10 REASONS you should join Summer Book Love 19 from the Nerdy Book Club here.
Here’s what Penny said about the FB Live session:
“From Concord, CA… I’m here with Kelly Gallagher, my co-author and friend, to talk about the importance of book clubs in his professional life.”
The importance of book clubs in his professional life.
The sheer joy.
The number of books he has read as a part of a book club.
The fact that he, a good reader, learns something from every book club meeting and that they celebrate the different ideas everyone brings to the book club.
I lost the sheer joy of talking about books in a book club.
The book club became about the process of my notes, my annotations or my writing about reading.
The book club became more about compliance than learning!
I became that “kid” who completed the work but
maybe didn’t invest very much of myself.
It’s book club season. I will be in several this summer. I will be watching my own learning. And just as I detailed the process for “Professional Learning” in the last 5 posts about Repeated Reading, so will I also monitor my own learning, processes and products. I think it will be critical to be brutally honest with myself.
And I can do that personally with a process that is also set up for bigger systems work.
How will I find the gold and the JOY in book clubs?
What is the process for professional learning?
- Set a Goal – Participate productively in book clubs
- Selection of Content which includes Checking the Research – Talk about the books
- Design a Process for Professional Development/Learning – Check the schedule and allow plenty of time. Refusing to allow lack of time to be an excuse.
- Teaching / Learning Opportunities – Checking in. What do teachers need to learn? How will they learn it? How can we set some measurable targets? – Pay attention to my “joy” meter. When does it stop being fun?
- Collaboration / Implementation Reading and Participating
- Ongoing Data Collection including Listen to the Students – Consider my responses to students with actions similar to mine
- Program Evaluation – Going back to the teacher data: Has there been growth? How do we know? Plan ahead – what will I do
ifwhen I get stuck?
- Collecting / Analyzing Student Data – Is the gap closing? Are students growing more capable? Are students more independent? Balancing “habits” of reading, attitudes, processes and products
- (WHY would I use a different process?)
I will be a part of at least three book clubs this summer and as the summer wanes, I will let you know if I was successful and how and when I will be celebrating the continuous JOY in reading and talking about books!
What is your experience with book clubs?
What motivates you to continue to learn and grow as a reader?
What learning targets would you consider?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Rising Steady HIGH humidity
Corn on the cob
That first BLT
That dreaded question . . .
“How did you spend your summer vacation?”
Book Club 1: 4 books scheduled . . . just finished book 3
Book Club 2: Writing about Reading . . . jotting, writing long, trying to create visuals
Book Club 3: Rereading, jotting, applying, thinking, and writing
Writing Project 1: Notes, resources, writing, writing, writing
Writing Project 2: Daily writing, reading, and responding
Online Writing Class: Video and writing
Online Writing Class: Daily checking in
Summer Class 1: Teaching
Summer Class 2: Developing
When does vacation start?
And what did I forget?
Treading Water . . .
Hanging On . . .
Typical Summertime Fun!
What does your summer fun look like?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
I totally forgot it was Tuesday and Slice of Life! This was my 10 minute flash draft this morning.
No more room in the schedule
The clock is ticking
On my summer work vacation!!!
“Because you know I’m all about the books,
‘Bout the books, everywhere
I’m all ’bout books, in the bookroom, and classroom
I’m all ’bout books, in the bookroom, and classroom
I’m all ’bout reading, ’bout the books,Because you know I’m all about reading,
‘Bout the books, Read Alouds too
I’m all ’bout independent reading, ’bout book sets.
I’m all ’bout book clubs, ’bout, partners too
I’m all ’bout the books (books)I’m all ’bout learning, all about growing,
I’m all ’bout poetry, all about the series,
I’m all about adventure, and mystery
We gon’ read fantasy, historical fiction, and nonfiction too.We know that books save lives
We know they make you feel
We know they take you places
We know they open up the worldWe know they are a must
We know that readers have to read
Do you have a bookroom?
What is the purpose of your bookroom?
There is no “ONE” right way to set up a bookroom. Tammy and Clare suggest that you can use a closet, a room, a portion of the school library for a bookroom or “book annex”. The initial step is to inventory your books and the forms that are available from the Heinemann Publishing online resources.
Do all students have enough books to read (volume) to both grow and be inspired to be a life-long reader?
Students need daily access to more books than they can read so they can have choice. If students are to be reading independently for 30 minutes each day, they need choices from a “limitless pool” of books. That’s the purpose of the bookroom. Choice involves considering a redesign or redeployment of current book inventories. Considering how to meet multiple instructional needs may require changes: some books in six packs for guided reading/small group instruction, some books as singles for independent reading and some books in 2s/3s for book clubs. All.without.purchasing.more.books.at.this.time!
Live dangerously. Check out your bookroom. Are there some books that are starting to collect dust because they haven’t been read recently?
If those are six packs of books in zip-lock baggies, Tammy and Clare suggest that you may want to consider having them redistributed as singles for independent reading. This is especially true for the beginning levels where students will need a high volume of books to read daily. To Consider: Maybe not all of the books need to be in sets of six in the bookroom. Is that a novel thought?
What are some other possibilities?
What are the key topics that your students are interested in? If it’s animals and you are a kindergarten teacher, you may want some A and B books in a basket labeled “Animals”. The label will NOT say A/B This may even be a basket with a mixture of fiction and nonfiction books (my thinking). If your first grade students like animals, you may need an E/F basket of animal books or an I/J basket of animal books. Again, the label will be the topic. The labels might be topics, authors, or general like “Laugh Out Loud”. Think of how easy it might be to “use” these books in your classroom if the books are already organized into baskets of approximately 20 books that you would be ready to check out and go!
What books do you need more of in your classroom? Books for independent reading? Books for book clubs? Books for small group instruction? Your classroom needs and student interests can help you figure out additional ways to organize books that may include your science and social studies curricula support as well. Sharing and redistributing books will keep the dust off and provide more reading for more students! What if you were able to reorganize your bookroom with a variety of combinations of books in order to enhance the readerly lives of your students?
If students are going to read a lot and become readers who love to read, they need access to books. A lot of books. Single books for independent reading are needed in many classrooms because “rereading” the guided reading books are boring after awhile as are the Xeroxed books at the low levels, and perhaps FEWER books are needed for guided reading, especially after Level K. (Moving to “strategy groups” for instruction allows the teacher to use the same mini-lesson for all students and provide practice in a text that shows they fully understand the strategy.) Practice, practice, practice in texts allows the student to build confidence and a skilled teacher can also consider how to close the gap for striving students. That means fewer books will really need to be stored in groups of six. Instead, baskets of books could be set up in the bookroom so teachers are able to rotate baskets to provide “new” titles for classroom libraries without depleting the school library. Independent student reading books can be refreshed and reinvigorated for immediate access in the classroom. (And it books are reassigned, perhaps the school book budget can now include some “new” purchases as new titles are published!)
Check out this April 29, 2018 Facebook Live session with Tammy and Clare here.
What ideas about bookrooms have intrigued you?
What books could maybe be read more often if some changes were made in your current book collections?
Are you using your books in the most productive ways for students?
Heinemann has graciously donated a copy of It’s All About the Books for each stop on the blog tour. To enter, comment below and either post a picture of some part of your classroom library or your bookroom with the link in a comment or write about your thinking or your questions about bookrooms. At the end of the week (Friday after 8 pm), a random winner will be chosen to receive a copy of this fabulous new book!