Last year was my first year in an elementary school with a pop of 850. We did book club on Fridays with each grade level. I didn't have a clue plus we didn't have books for them to read altogether. I ended up trying to use technology on old computers and it was okay. I did wordle with 2nd grade, animoto with 4th (horrible, they didn't know how to use computers) and puppets at the end of school with 1st grade. I wanted to use podcast with 3rd grade but everything is blocked in our district. I hope this year will better.
I like the videotapping booktalks and book club lunches.
I run a club I call Floor Hockey Book Club. It happens once a month in the evening and is a book club for parents and their children in grades 4-7. The families come and play floor hockey in the gym, have a healthy snack in the library and then we discuss the book we've agreed to read that month. Parents must commit to reading the book. Some parents and children do this independently, others share the reading. At the end of each meeting, I booktalk about four books and the children choose the one that the group will read. If the club numbers are high, I divide the sessions by having a 4/5 group and a 6/7 group (and we alternate who does the book part first and who does the floor hockey first - also meaning I enlist the help of another teacher to supervise the gym). The idea behind this was to encourage reluctant readers to come out with the floor hockey as the carrot. As it turned out, it also encouraged some of my passionate readers to become more active. I only run the club for about 4 sessions, starting in January (skipping March break) and ending in May. It builds literacy and a nice sense of community in our school.
I am doing a collaborative Harry Potter book club with the town Public Children's Librarian and another elementary Teacher-Librarian in my district. In fact, our third meeting of six is this afternoon. First the adults met to divide the chapters of the first HP book up so we could each make discussion questions and to plan activities to do at each meeting with students in grades 3, 4 and 5. We began with this well known book because there is a great deal of enthusiasm for students who are now just discovering the series and because of the recent creation of Pottermore and Scholastic's HP website.
At our meetings so far we have set up students on Pottermore (it takes 24 hours for the account to be active), then used Pottermore for exploration with the students, did a discussion, we made lists of read-alikes for peers and at the last meeting we watched half the Scholastic podcast where JK Rowling answers questions and reads from the first book. The kids LOVED having her read to them and we followed along in our own books.
Today we are going to go back to Pottermore and play a bit collecting objects, we'll do some discussion and then listen to the rest of the podcast if it is still available on the Scholastic website. We are also being flexible and if students have ideas we will go with what they would like to do in connection with the first book. We are going to offer them the opportunity to listen to the audio book at some point as well.
I think the students who sign up for book clubs are already good readers and that makes it enjoyable for them and easier for us because no one has to be dragged into the story, they are already invested in the characters and often are fonts on knowledge.
Our final meeting will be a celebration with HP food and we will play the HP trivia game. There are plans that if this is successful we will have a book club for the second HP in the series.
Mary Tichey-Staack, Teacher-Librarian