Tuesday, October 23, 2007
One of the things that I do miss about teaching is the book clubs. Book clubs were something I started in probably my fourth year of teaching. And was one of my best ideas, ever.
I divided the kids up into groups more or less by reading ability and assigned each group a book (that I had to buy with my own money, of course). The advanced readers would get something like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or The Twits (Roald Dahl is a great favorite with third grade boys who are reading above grade level). The lower readers would get something like the Horrible Harry series, because, although they are easier reading, they still have chapters, and that's a source of pride with third graders... chapter books.
One kid would be the facilitator for the day and they would go around and each read one page out loud. If none of the kids in the group knew a word, they could ask me. I took turns sitting in on the different groups. When they finished a chapter, the facilitator for the day would ask a couple of questions that were supposed to be higher-level questions about the character's motivation or something but were often things like "Where were they?" It depended on the child.
The kids actually did quite well with these. I didn't do it so much my last year - mostly because I was so tired and book clubs are actually very high-energy for the teacher. But they loved it. Sometimes the kids would do a presentation at the end of a book - they would present a poster to the class which told the title, author, setting, characters, and basic plot. Then they would explain if they recommended the book or not and why. It really got them interested in reading and I wish I hadn't been too tired to keep it up.
It is really amazing how long it takes to get over being THAT tired. I'm still finding myself needing way more sleep than is normal and wearing out really easy. I think one day I'll be rested again... I hope. School apparently depleted more of my energy than I thought.