Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finding Just Right Books for Book Club

The last couple of books we read for book club have been a little challenging for some of the guys. The first one Silverfin was exciting, and at their level; but it really is a book for 5th grade and above. The second one is Mariah Mundi The Midas Box by C.P. Taylor. Content and theme is much more 3rd to 6th, but the vocabulary was challenging at times. It is a great book for teaching rich language.

I have started the quest for a few more suggestions for the book club. I have a small stack and have started to read them. I started with Science Fair by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Kids hate when you laugh while reading silently. They want to know what is so funny. We had a little time on Tuesday before our Parade of Masks and the autumn party. The story is about a science fair at a wealthy middle school where only the wealthy students win. There is more. In the capital city of Krpsht (pronounced “Krpsht”) in a country named the Republic of Krpshtskan the president is planning to destroy the United States. If you couldn’t tell there aren’t many vowels in the language either. I enjoy the book but it is definitely NOT for 3rd and 4th graders. One reference to a “hot” student is OK, but five on one page and it on to the next.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2009 CCIRA Conference

I received the conference registration book this past weekend, and as I looked through it I said "Oh my god what now?". This past spring I submitted a proposal for a session. Carol helped me wordsmith. During the summer I was notified that I was accepted. NOW the moment of truth. I am in the book. Will people sign up? Will it be what they want. I hope so. It is an hour session to talk about setting up a book club and suggested books. I am looking forward to it, but scared.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Again! Again! Again! Again! Again!

The other day I watched my niece and nephew. Hannah is 3 and Levi turns two this Thursday. Yes, he is a two year old boy. He LOVES trains and trucks. Once I got them into their pajamas I let them pick a book to read. Hannah picked a pink book, she loves pink, “I like purple now!” and Levi chose Smash!Crash! by Jon Scieszka. I read, and when I finished he said “again, again, again” It is a great book but five times is tough. I got him I’m Bad! By Kate & Jim McMullan. It is a cute story about a hungry T-Rex that loves him mom.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Far from organized chaos!

Wednesday was our first real book club of the year. It was LOUD! It was interesting to watch two different groups of boys try to blend into one. The fourth graders were really trying to say hey we run this show, and the third graders kept saying we don’t care what page you got to because we finished the book. Truthfully, I picked a book too challenging for the group. Silverfin by Charlie Higson is a great adventure, but would be better for fifth grade and above. It proves that even though they read above grade level not all books at their level is appropriate.

My goal all along has been to let the boys run the discussion and let them have the freedom to go where they want. Well, that will change a little next month. Our next book club is going to be controlled. I plan on having them pair up with someone they don’t know well to talk briefly about favorite parts. (Yes, I know there are better ways to talk about books, but that is what they always want to do first!) After that sharing I am going have different guys ask some discussion questions. Hopefully, this will create an environment where all the guys have fun.