Monday, January 31, 2011

Reading Groups

This Winter I was approached by two students that wanted to form reading groups. Students who want to "work on reading" on their own time - what's not to love?

The first request was from a fifth grade girl who wrote an excellent formal persuasive letter. It turns out that the letter was part of a class assignment, but the desire was real non-the-less. I showed the letter to my principal and she gave me permission to host this reading group after school on Fridays and offered some suggestions for funding books. I spent some time talking with the girl who proposed the idea. The list of students that said they were interested was more than half her class! I am currently working on figuring out how to make the group available to a smaller group... I feel like eight is probably the maximum for working comfortably in a student rum group. Five might be even better. I am currently trying to figure out a way for students to sign up for groups by interest, balancing being fair with trying to make it work.

The second request was from a second grade girl. She initially asked me what she needed to do, to form a lunchtime reading club. I told her that she would need a list of students that would be interested in participating and some idea about what they would do. She came right back with a list of nine students - most of the girls from her class. After we talked about what she wanted to do in the group she formalized the proposal by writing me a letter. That was a week ago Friday. On Monday we started our reading club with an author study of Mo Willems. The girls have been having a wonderful time! We are ending this group by writing letters to Mr. Willems today and tomorrow. On Friday I will let students from this class sign up for the next author study in our lunch time reading club. This has turned out to be a wonderful idea! Thank you girls!

Of course, now the other second grade teachers are asking why their students don't get to be in the club? I may have to rotate to another class after the first two rounds. Eventually the groups should probably be mixed - not one particular class or one gender. I wonder however if part of what made this work is that these were friends who decided to form a club?

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful school! Children are learning, not only about reading, but about organizing themselves into groups and doing things together, some of the most important and powerful things people do.