Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Last Tuesday I wrote about the revamping of our summer reading program and today I'll share what we actually ended up with. To see other grade levels check out our school site.
Students were asked to choose a book and then attend a book discussion. We did this for our sophomores and juniors too. We tried to have a variety of books. Then we asked students to join us for a discussion during the summer or during the first week of school. The most fun day that we had over the summer as freshmen English teachers was the day that students came on July 31st. We had ice pops and an amazing discussion.
What I had first envisioned was that students would have small discussion groups based on reading the same books. What we found is that we could facilitate a rich discussion among the students who had a read a variety of the titles. We asked universal questions and then at the end allowed some time to let students prepare to "Shark Tank" their book.
During the school day it got a little tricky because we did have more students to manage. We enlisted our reading teachers and other instructional staff and we found that we could actually mix the grade levels for the conversations. It worked well. I continued to host lunch discussions as we whittled down the number of students who needed to participate.
The second was a free choice book with a project attached. Since students in ninth grade are not issued devices over the summer, we made it a paper based project while the 10th graders who kept their device did a digital project.
Next week I will share what I learned from the process and what changes would make it better. Overall we had over 800 students participate in the facilitated discussions in the media center and during the summer.