I have my students for less than 50 minutes each…
Do you ever get an idea in your head and you cannot get it out? You keep thinking about it. You obsess. You stay up all night thinking about it?
This is how I was with the summer book club idea. It began when I started reading on Twitter about the importance for students to read over the summer. That, combined with my realization that the local library would be closed over the summer for renovations, inspired me to take action. I would start a summer book club.
Now, I am really lucky. I mean extremely lucky. How am I lucky? I have a team of 5 other ELA teachers who support my crazy ideas. I have a literature center full of class and group sets of books. I have a principal who found me a place to meet. I have support. I also know that I have some avid readers who will jump at the chance to meet up to talk about books this summer and who will motivate my less-than-avid readers.
With the support of my fellow 6th grade teachers, I began the process. It started with asking students if they would be interested. I thought I would have a handful of students out of my 80 interested. Instead, I had over 20. Other teachers began asking and seeing a positive response, so I included the other grade level in my building, the 7th grade.
I then began emailing parents. Again, the response has been beyond positive. I even heard from one parent that her child began this school year not reading anything and is now excited to keep reading over the summer! These students need books and someone to talk to about their reading!
We have decided to meet twice over the summer, once in June and once in July. This means there are only two books that I am giving the students to read and talk about. I wish it could be more, but I wanted to start small this year. It is the first time we are organizing something over the summer using our books that we hold precious in our literature center.
The next step is having the students choose the book they would like to read, group the students (either have a group read or split into smaller groups with different books), and get the books to the students before the school year ends.
I am so very excited to see how this goes this summer and I really hope it can be something we continue each summer, with more students and more books! I am considering using the global read aloud and write a grant for each student to receive their own copy.
Stay tuned to see how this is going in our school. If you have something similar going on, I would love to hear about it. If you have ideas or questions, I want to hear them!