Friday, June 8, 2012

Book Talks

Ryal's Certificate
It's been a great year for reading at our school. In grades 6, 7, and 8 we asked students to try to read 40 books this year. Many students had never read a book on their own before. During class, students who finish work early, take out their own reading book to read.

In my reading class, students read their books for 15-20 minutes at least three times a week. At least twice a week, the students would respond to reading prompts based on our reading lessons, which are based on the stems of our GLEs (Grade Level Expectations).

Often students would come to class and say, "Could we just read today?" I've heard kids say to each other, "You should check out this book; then we could read it together." These are firsts: how exciting to have kids excited about reading.  The total pages read by sixth and eighth graders was 8,691! That translates to about 86 one hundred page books!  The seventh graders did not get a chance to share their total pages, but Rista read 72 books on her own! Whether they have read five books or forty books, it's a wonderful step towards better readers.

The last activity we did was to create certificates. Students used Keynote to choose a template, add book cover and portrait images, and declare their book reading progress.

Some students then wrote a book talk on their favorite book, recorded it in Photo Booth, and dragged it into their Keynote. We then exported them as movies, and some students added them to our class blog, or their individual blogs. Click here for the the book talks filed under the "book review" tag.

Tish just finished hers; enjoy her "Book Talk:"

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  1. Hi Ms. Edwards and class!

    The love of reading is something that is part of classroom culture that the teacher and students establish together in their room. I'm so glad that Ms. Edwards allows the students to enjoy their reading, as opposed to allowing readicide to take place.

    Tish's book talk reflection is powerful and creative. I never would have thought to use the tech in such a way, nor would I have thought about a video reflection for book talks. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    Kind regards,
    Tracy Watanabe

  2. Thanks, Tracy. The enjoyment of reading should be the most important part of reading. And one way to enjoy reading is to choose your own books. We've really made a dent in negative attitudes about reading and moved forward to students enjoying reading-- for fun and for learning.

    On the tech side, the students were able to complete this assignment in one period. I simply demonstrated how to do it, and they were off after writing their book talks. I didn't need to spend time "teaching the application;" we just learned to use the tool we needed when we needed it.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Sheri,
    This is a great post detailing what you do to promote reading in your classes - I am saving it in my head and in my Evernote so I can use it next year to help motivate my 7th graders more. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Joy. This year again the students have read more books than ever before; they are sharing them and talking about each part, without being asked to do so! They have time to read, which means time to enjoy the reading, which means time to share their enjoyment. If you come up with any other good ideas, let me know! Thanks for stopping by.


Please remember this is a family and school related site. Please post and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. sheri at nsdeagles dot org