This was part of the January, 2019 parent letter sent prior to the Social Issue Book Club Unit:

Why Book Clubs? If it is one thing that 6th graders are good at, it is talking! This unit will encourage students to use this skill in the company of two to four others who are reading the same book. Through talk, ideas and perspectives can be shared around weekly book club discussions to push our thinking. 

This is part fo the April, 2021 parent revised letter to be sent prior to the Social Issue Book Club Unit:

This unit encourages students to use their reading and discussion skills in the company of two to four others who are reading about a similar issue.

I wonder….will tthis year’s students start talking? Some, from home, do now but mostly with their cameras off. Some, attending my class in person one block a week, do now but it is hard to hear them clearly through a mask. Yesterday I tried using the TEAMS feature called Breakout Rooms for those at home while those in person, I arranged seating so they could talk in groups of 3-4 spaced 6ft apart.

“How did that go?” I asked after a 5-minute talk break where I asked them to share with their group what was sticking with them from their reading. “Great, we all talked,” a Room 1 student volunteered. I thought to myself, maybe this can work. Maybe in April, these students this year can learn that talking is something they are good at but just out of practice.

6 thoughts on “Talk

    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      I like how you placed rooms in ” ” so much to juggle as a teacher. Before it was just setting up clubs but now need to figure out inperson and online. Thanks for your encouraging comment!


  1. jarhartz says:

    I have had to really teach into the breakout room talk, just like in school. I have them do that same kind of book group talk. And it’s a challenge. I’m constantly asking them for feedback too. What’s working, what’s not. One thing that has gotten the best results from their point of view has been having their writing about reading as a starting place. Go figure. Every day I have a writing prompt for their clubs and they need to respond. As much as I want them to go where they want to go with their thinking about books, my kiddos need a frame to center them.

    As we go to the “hybrid” situation, some of my clubs will be in different spaces and times. I’m afraid I’ll have to reconfigure the clubs. Looking forward to hearing how your transition goes.


  2. Fran McCrackin says:

    This post is what I mean about capturing g the peculiarities of teaching at this time. So interesting how your parent message sounds so much more serious. And I can’t even imagine juggling the virtual tech with the bodies in the room. Good for you- getting them talking g again. I know they will love it.


  3. mschiubookawrites says:

    You always ask the best questions. So thrilled you tried breakout rooms. My little guy raves about them (because he can be a talker), but some of my quieter groups report back that no one talks. Either way, it is a chance for students to practice how to communicate with one another. Good luck with your Book Clubs.


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