Sunday, March 16, 2014

Book Club Resources

Hello darlings!  We are finishing up Series Book Clubs in my third grade classroom.  My students thoroughly enjoyed reading everyday and they are very upset with me that our last day of official books clubs is on Thursday.  I told them they could still do it on their own.

The lesson ideas that my teamies and I have been using come from Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky.  We loved, loved, loved that they had Read Aloud and the Minilesson tied together and they included pictures of anchor charts.  I wish that I had the time to create units like this!  I am on the ELA Curriculum Team for my district, but they are afraid if we gave teachers units like this, teachers wouldn't be reflective  and would just use it like a Basal.  I feel that we need something like this as a starting point.  My team did not use this as a Basal.  We took bits and pieces and added our own lessons to meet the needs of our students.  What does your district do?

To teach the mini lesson and for interactive read aloud, we used Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.  To keep myself on schedule and to make sure I was teaching the essential skills of the unit, I created a mini journal to go along with each chapter.  Students would bring this over to the carpet during read aloud time and during the minilesson.  Sometimes  we would do the work together and other times, I would have them complete it independently to take a grade.  To get the journal click here.

After the minilesson, students would read their assigned book club books.  I had grouped them by reading level already and had set them up sitting in partnerships on the carpet, so they would have a Turn and Talk partner.  The group used a spiral notebook to keep track of everything they needed for the group. They decided a schedule for reading for the week and had to agree on it together.  They then had 35-40 minutes during independent reading time to read their assigned chapters.  While they read, they recorded talking points in their spiral journal so they would have things to discuss with their groups. They modeled this talking points off of what we were learning in the minilessons.  They met in their Book Clubs for the last ten minutes everyday.  

I made my way around to each club, but found myself getting stuck at one particular group each day because they were not getting along... We had to work out a system with stuffed animals... The only person who could talk is the person with the Micky stuffed animal.  They would hand the Minnie stuffed animal to someone who had a question or a comment and only that person could speak.  Once Minnie was passed around, it was the next student's turn to share a talking point.  They would get the Micky stuffed animal and pass Minnie around.  Thank goodness this worked!  

Students kept each other accountable by filling out the Peer Review Book Club form.  We spent a few days at the beginning of the unit discussing expectations for the group and what each of the terms really meant.  They used their score from the group each day to create a goal for the next day's club.

The five blanks under each category are for each day of the week.  At the end of the week, they would total up the points for each person.  I used this information along with my observation and group notes to grade each student for the week.

The books I used this year were based on the levels of my students at the time.  Next year, we will be starting book clubs at the beginning of the year, so I already know I am going to have to be purchasing different levels of books or borrowing from other teachers and the library.

DRA L's and M's: Magic Tree House Series

DRA O's and P's:  Dragon Slayer Academy Series
                             Ramona Series

DRA Q's and R's: Indian in the Cupboard Series

DRA S's and T's: Zack's Lie Series

I hope this information is helpful!


  1. Did the students ever get stories mixed together? If I am reading this correctly, you used Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing whole group and had associated mini-lessons. Then, kids had a book club book where they continued to practice/use skills. I am always trying to find the best balance between a book we study, and a book students read independently. I always worry they will confuse facts. Do you have any problems with kids forgetting or confusing details?

    Love the peer review form!


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