Mad ramblings of a Literacy Specialist

Book Clubs in the Middle Grades June 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — madhotliteracy @ 2:40 PM

Some of us have been working on figuring out how the whole partnership thing will work in the middle grades here.  There seems to be a ton of information about the little guys and an equal ton of information about the older grades.  But that middle space is still a little bit like being at sea in a small, lonely boat.

These students are too old and too sophisticated for the simple partner reads of The Daily Five. But at the same time, they don’t seem to have quite enough experience yet for full blown Literature Circles to feel productive either.

So — if this describes your dilemna — here is the summer “must read” for you:  Reading for Real by Kathy Collins focuses on the realities of reading clubs and partnerships in those middle years.  She provides:

  • specific suggestions for planning cycles of reading clubs;
  • detailed charts with a variety of teaching ideas that can be implemented immediately;
  • ideas for mini-lessons and examples of reading conferences to support students as they learn strategies and hone their reading and discussion skills;
  • suggestions for differentiating instruction;
  • support for launching and fostering reading partnerships across the year;
  • appendixes with examples of note-taking sheets and sample planning guides for several kinds of reading clubs.

(yep, I copied that straight from the Stenhouse site!)

And the best part is:  right now the entire book can be read online as a PDF file.  This is one of those things that I adore about Stenhouse.  You can download the PDF into your computer and read it on the screen before deciding whether or not to purchase the book.  (I ALWAYS seem to end up purchasing the books because I want to highlight, tab, make notes and generally use the text in the school on a regular, daily basis.  But I love have the freedom to make an intelligent, informed decision.  And I love being able to read and begin to think about the concepts and ideas even before I have the book in my hot little hands)


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