Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Slice of Life: Books, Brownies, and Beyond!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, BethAnna, Kathleen, and Deb
                    for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

At precisely 2:50 the library begins to fill with chattering voices.  Students shed backpacks and slide into chairs.  I ask them to rearrange the library tables.  Today we try out a U shape.  Our increased numbers have required me to rethink our meeting strategy.

We begin today with small group discussions:  "How is reading a book for book club different from reading a book on your own?"  We share our answers to the question.  Responses include:  "You read more carefully, you pay attention, you may use sticky notes, you may want to jot down questions, you will explore genres you might not explore on your own, you can talk to others reading the same book and they may be able to answer your questions, you think more deeply about the book, you may choose to reread a book you've read previously in order to understand it better, you'll judge the book or give it a rating."  

We reconvene around the U shape.  Ms. Bowman, KCLS teen librarian joins us for the first time this year.  She knows some of the participants.  I practice going around the group and introducing students to her.  I'm name challenged (a terrible trait for a teacher).   I'm excited that today we have fourteen participants:  seven boys and seven girls with a mixture of sixth and seventh grade students.  Ms. Bowman and I take turns introducing possible titles for our first round of book club.  We quickly booktalk ten titles from the collection.  One student has read every one of the books we pulled!

We end up with three groups:  four students choose Heart of a Samurai, five students choose  One for the Murphys, and four students choose Home of the Brave.  Each group is a mixture of boys and girls.  We search for the book sets behind the beautiful tapestries hiding the lit circle collections.  We check out the books leaving a handwritten list for the librarian to enter in the computer tomorrow.

Each student grabs a cookie bar or two on the way back to the table.  Not much time, but we set out new titles from my bin.  I preview A Nearer Moon and Crenshaw (it's going to Tennessee with me this week).  Ms. Bowman previews the graphic novels Drowned City (she loves Hurricane Katrina books) and The Great American Dust Bowl.  We quickly return tables to their regular spots, grab bus passes and leave with wonderful books in hand for our first book club groups.  I love Tuesday afternoons! 


  1. You're right, doesn't get any better. What a gift you are giving by doing this, Ramona. Happy Travels!

  2. I love the students realizing that they go about the task of reading for pleasure and reading for book club in different ways. I do too. I wonder if I expected myself to do some of reflection on everything I read if I would read deeper. If that were so would I read less? Hmm

    Also, I was reading along and then the KCLS popped me out of the story. You're from 'home'. At least my other 'home' that is where I am from and rooted, but not where I get to spend most of my time. And now I am smiling.

  3. Lucky kids to have you to lead these book clubs! I would have loved this when I was a student. Have fun in Tennessee!

  4. A timely read for me, as I will be starting up my fifth grade Book Lunch Bunch in a couple of weeks. Trying something new--asked the enrollees if they wanted to read a group book, or just discuss the books they are already reading. The responses were split down the middle, so I'll be forming both kinds of groups. After spare participation last year, it's exciting to be back up to 30 students!