From the Office of the Future of Reading

Please join me in welcoming today’s guest blogger, Dawn Ackroyd. Dawn is a grade 3 teacher who has always been a little obsessed about reading. She loves to discuss books with kids and with adults. You can read more from Dawn at her blog and you can also follow her on twitter

One of my favorite things about my teaching life is Grade 3 Book Club. It is an extra curricular activity in my school that about 40 kids attend. We meet once a month. We discuss books, do a craft, or play a game. At the end of book club, I do a book talk for two new books and then we vote on which book we will discuss the next month.

I used to think that it would be nice if every day was book club. The truth is, I love all the stuff in-between book club meetings just as much.

I love going to pick up the books and passing them out to students. It makes me feel like Santa Claus, ….or maybe Oprah: You get a book! And you get a book! And you get a book!

I love the buzz it creates in our school. I rarely get through my supervision duties without a student approaching me to talk about a book. They know I love books and that I love to talk about books with them.

I love having kids yell to me in the hall as they come in to let me know what chapter they’re on, or ask me what chapter I’m on.

I love creating quizzes for kids to do on Edmodo and seeing the notifications roll in as they do the quiz. I love having kids post their thoughts about the book on Edmodo and having other kids respond.

I love reading favorite parts of the book to my class and having someone who wasn’t reading it say, “I think I want to read that book too.”

I love having kids ask me how many more days there are until our book club meeting.

I love having kids tell me at recess that they really love the book.

I love it when kids tell me how many chapters they have left, or how many they’re going to read each day to finish on time.

I love it when kids come to me the day before book club and tell me they’ve really been trying, but they’re not finished with the book, and they’re wondering if they could come to book club meeting anyway (My response is always: If you’ve been really trying, and if you promise to finish it, sure, you can come!)

I love it when kids tell me they really don’t like the book. We talk about why and I ask them if they will please still come to book club because we want to have discussions with people who don’t like it as much as people who do like it.

I love perusing the shelves at United Library Services to see what is in stock, I love reading blogs and I love scouring websites to find the next perfect book.

I love coming up with ideas with the other teachers for the activity for our book club meeting.

Some people think it is a lot of work to add extra curricular activities on top of everything else in a teacher’s life. It isn’t if you love it. I really love book club!

Thank you Dawn for sharing your passion for after school book clubs! I’m betting it inspires other teachers to start clubs at their schools, too.