“Do you belong to a book club?”
This question came out of the blue from a student who was working through some “online” course requirements. My response, “Yes, and do you want to hear about it or see it?” was quickly answered with “Show me, please!”
As I shared the Facebook platform with units via the ubiquitous shared desktop in zoom, the students’ eyes glittered. “You mean you are going to read different books EVERY week?”
I shared how the process had worked last year and that this year my goal is to participate in both elementary and secondary book clubs simultaneously so I will actually plan to participate in two DIFFERENT book clubs EVERY week! Now the student’s eyes glazed over under the realization that I was not the person who would say that reading a few chapters in one book each week was a silly assignment as I would really be reading whole books each week.
It’s year 3 for my participation in #BookLove. Each year has looked a bit different because the elementary book club is only in its second year of operation. You can find out more about the goals of “BookLove” here and the classroom library grants for teachers which is one reason why I continue to join. But it’s not just the book grants. It’s the community of readers, writers, teachers, and authors who come together each day/week that STRETCH my thinking. The very best part of #BookLove is the summer book club. You can see the book selections under the tab for Summer Book Club Registration.
BUT only one option is available. The online membership that provides the community of learning alongside the hundreds of teachers who will also be reading the books this summer. You will have to order your own books from your favorite bookseller.
Not yet convinced? I wrote about #BookLove19 here. So many changes in our lives this summer so I don’t yet know how many book clubs I will participate in, but I do know that I will be reading, writing, thinking and responding with hundreds of friends in #BookLove20.
What book clubs are you participating in?
What does your book club WORK look like?
How does your book club work mirror the work that is expected of students?
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.
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.
“Registration is open! Join the Book Love Foundation Summer Book Club to read with colleagues and learn from authors during our exclusive online LIVE events.This year we have both elementary and secondary book clubs. Check out summerbookclub.org @ @ @
So you will go to summerbookclub.org
Watch the video with Penny Kittle.
Watch the video with Clare Landrigan.
You will have three choices:
MS/HS book club (June-July) (Books, swag and online content)
Elementary book club (July) (Books, swag and online content)
Online resources only (open as soon as you register for discussion and specific “units” for each week of discussion) BONUS – all online options see all discussions and content – the whole shebang.
See you at summerbookclub.org
What are you waiting for?
Conversations with teachers,
Conversations with authors,
And more libraries for teachers . . .
The chat was amazing. Many preservice teachers from #UNILitEd in Cedar Falls, Iowa, were participating in their first Twitter chat. We hope they will continue to participate in chats, grow professionally, and find additional sources of on-line learning.
Resources for Quotes:
I quoted Donalyn Miller’s research in the chat. (link) Also Nell Duke’s Edutopia article here. Another new source during the chat was “Sustained Silent Reading: What the Research Really Says“.
Accountability for Independent Reading. Students can choose many non-invasive ways to keep track of their reading. I can’t say enough about how I love the “book stack” showing a month of reading here in Christina’s tweet via learning from Penny Kittle.
Archive from the chat – Link
And after all, what are a student’s rights?
What will you do to ensure quality implementation of Independent Reading?
What is your first step?
Clevern tweet from NY Public Library
Kelli Westmoreland – Research on Independent Reading
Barbara Moss – Independent Reading
Matt Renwick – Silent Reading vs. Independent Reading
Children’s Book Council – The Value of Independent Reading for Kids
ala.org – Independent Reading
Stephen Krashen – What Does it Take to Develop a Long-Term Pleasure Reading Habit? **
Were you in the room?
500 + educators
On a Saturday morning
In Denver, Colorado.
These “Everyday Practices”
DURING the session
With Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle!
Seriously, another session with Kelly and Penny?
How many does that make?
- Kelly and Penny with Nancy Atwell NCTE B 36 here . . .
- Kelly in Iowa . . .
- 180 Days Resources and #G2Great Chat here . . .
- Summer Book Love Club with Penny . . .
- Kelly and Penny in Iowa here . . .
- Penny with Linda Reif here . . . (wakelet)
Why do I continue to grow my knowledge and understanding?
Because this is the learning that our students deserve. Because this is the learning environment that our students need in order to thrive. Because this is the learning environment that our students need in order to be successful as students. Because this is the learning environment that our students need in order to transfer to being successful adults . . . in the real world . . . after school . . . in LIFE!
What else do I want to hold onto?
And . . .
What matters in Reading and Writing?
Conferring / Feedback
But without volume . . . nothing else matters. And if your kids are NOT reading WITH you, they are not reading WITHOUT you!
How will you increase the volume of reading and writing and yet honor student choice?
(Other gems of wisdom can be found on Twitter!)
180 Days and A Novel Approach are a perfect pairing!
Literacy is important. It’s been a part of my life for years. Teaching, modeling, teaching, modeling, demonstrating! And yesterday was no different,
I was a learner in the audience. A learner.
Here’s just a window into the learning:
If you are on twitter, you may know where I was and who I was with for my learning fun. but if you were not online, think about these quotes.
What surprises you?
What is worth talking about?
What would you say to a thought partner?
What would you write?
Instruction needs to change. Students need to be engaged. That doesn’t mean teachers need to do “a song and a dance” every day. But teachers do need to think about the needs of their students. And how students’ needs and teachers’ needs can both be met in better ways. Responsive teaching is hard. It means that the data from today drives the instruction for tomorrow. That data comes from a variety of sources: conferences, book talks, flipgrid responses, book check ins, student goals, teacher goals, the questions students ask, the questions students do NOT ask, student writing, and teacher writing.
It’s not a unit per quarter. It’s not a whole class novel per quarter. It’s not low level responses. It’s not fake reading. It’s not giving up accountability. It’s not about abdicating responsibility for learning.
It’s also not easy.
Teachers are change agents
Teachers change the world.
What was the message?
Here is a quick glimpse . . .
Who were these masterminds of change?
In West Des Moines, Iowa
About 340 of us . . .
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.
Literacy Lenses: Link
Resourceful – Planning
Travis Crowder Review
Do you love to plan?
Do you hate to plan?
Planning can take many forms. Planning to write in the form of creating an outline and then following it point by point . . . just the thought of it, makes me nauseous. In the vernacular of “slicers”, then am I a “pantser” meaning I plan by the seat of my pants . . . in the moment? Actually not. I’m somewhere in between.
It all depends . . .
What’s your process for planning in your personal life?
It’s time for a weekend get away or a family vacation. Do you investigate possibilities on line via “The Google”? When and where do you plan? As you are packing? Or in advance so you can make sure that everything fits? That might necessitate packing that “carry on” bag in advance to make sure everything fits. That might mean “lists” depending on the length of the stay. That might mean a careful assessment of “technology needs” in order to be prepared.
What’s your process for planning in your work life?
As the school year winds down are you preserving those notes? More of “x”. Less of “y”. Scrap a, b, and c. How do you make those decisions? That might mean lists of “If . . . , then . . .”, T charts of pros and cons that precede the inner debate, or even basic boxes and bullets.
Lists of lists???
Again, it all depends . . .
If you are a secondary teacher (grades 6-12), then you need to immediately order this book and join one of the many book studies that are planned for this summer. (Note that I did not say, if you are a secondary ELA teacher, because I believe there is merit in the principles and ideas in this book for social studies teachers, instructional coaches, principals, and curriculum directors.)
The hashtag for this book is #180Days. But I want to draw your attention to the subtitle: “Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents.”
And in case you missed it, the full title is 180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents.
Let’s face it.
A “How to” book with QUEST, ENGAGE, and EMPOWER in the title.
There are probably days when you scratch your head and wonder, “WHY? Why am I doing this to myself?” Other days in moments of honestly, your first period class really sucked, second period was better, and third period rocked. WHY?
That opportunity to practice.
That opportunity to tweak the lesson.
A different beginning.
A different ending.
That opportunity to re-vision the lesson.
Some teachers have the opportunity to adjust and discuss situations as they occur with collaborative teaching partners. But in this book you have the collective wisdom of Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle as they share how they planned, the basis for their decisions, their varied class periods (each day, Kelly and every other day – block schedule, Penny) as they taught and collaborated across the country, NH and CA.
Not sure if this is the book for you? Resources that may help you decide are:
And if that’s not enough, please join the #G2Great Twitter Chat this Thursday night.
Added – Literacy Lenses post about 180 Days #G2Great Chat 5.20.18
Do you “engage and empower” your adolescents on a regular basis?
Do you worry about being responsive to life and also “fitting it all in”?
This book will show you how to make better decisions about your students – based on the needs of your students – so that you can and do ENGAGE and EMPOWER them!
WHY does it matter?
How will you be planning for next year?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
“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!
This picture of a slide from Peter Johnston’s keynote on Saturday at #CCIRA18 has had
118 likes, and
some pushback . . .
John Guthrie’s research here
Pernille Ripp also spoke to this issue at #CCIRA18
Kate Roberts book will be out this month.
Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle’s book will be out in April. I’m not finding the preview of the cover now, but it has “180 Days” in the title and at #NCTE17, they shared their structure that includes one whole class book per semester.
What is a healthy reading diet? How would one build a “Healthier Reading Diet”?
Check out Travis Crowder’s work with Donalyn Miller’s resources here.
What is the end goal?
Students who can read?
Students who do read?
Students who have choice and voice in what they read?
Or students who pass a test and never pick up a book again?
What books should students read?
How many books should the whole class read together each year?
Does this speak to student engagement?
Does this speak to excellence in literacy?
Does this speak to equity?
What is your interpretation?
What are your expectations?
This summer is a FEAST of professional development for me. I had the great fortune of being accepted for two weeks of learning at TCRWP for Writing and Reading Institutes. (You can check out my public learning log under the “Recent Posts” at the right.) Next weekend I will be in St. Louis for ILA.
How are you preparing for your learning?
What information do you need to KNOW before you look at specific sessions?
Do you look for specific PEOPLE?
Do you look for specific TOPICS?
Here’s the link to the 16 page preview guide pictured above.
I used the search tool to create a DRAFT LIST of those I know that I MUST see.
Chris Lehman – Sunday, Writing from Sources is more than. . .”The Text Says”
Jennifer Serravello – Sunday, Accountability, Agency, and Increased Achievement in Independent Reading
Nell Duke – Saturday, A Project-Based Place
Lester Laminack, Linda Rief, and Kate Messner – Saturday, The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Text to Teach the Craft of Writing
Penny Kittle and Donalyn Miller – Sunday, Complex, Rigorous and Social: Fostering Readerly Lives
and then added in others previously marked in the program:
Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan – They are authors of the book Assessment in Perspective: Focusing on the Reader Behind the Numbers.
Dana Johansen and Sonja Cherry-Paul – Preconference Institute – Friday, Reading with Rigor: Interpreting Complex Text Using Annotation and Close Reading Strategies
Kim Yaris and Jan Burkins – They are the authors of Reading Wellness. Check out a bit of their work here.
Kylene Beers and Bob Probst – Notice and Note and Nonfiction version to be out in October.
Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey – Many, many ELA texts involving Gradual Release of Responsibility
Other faves that I hope to see at ILA15 include: Vicki Vinton and Dorothy Barnhouse – What Readers Really Do; Dr. Mary Howard – Good to Great; and ANY and ALL TCRWP folks!
Any Two Writing Teacher Slicers? – please say hello in person!
Any #G2Great chatters?
Any #TCRWP afficionados?
I’m ready to rename ILA15 as “Gateway to the STARS!” as I look at this line up of literacy greats. What great learning opportunities and I’m still at the pre-planning stage. (Maybe I will find Hermione’s secret so that I can be in at least two locations at the same time!)