Happy, happy Sunday. Well, I had a fantastic week of school. The first day I was like, “Well, this was good, but I’m not in love.” By Friday I was like, “Eeekkk – I can do SO many cool things in 5th grade. I love my kiddos!” Yep, all of you were right, I love 5th grade. Yes, even with 90 kiddos I still love them. Granted, they are giving me a run for my money. We started some hard core independent reading this week, and I am BLOWN away. I have even had a dozen or so friends already finish books, so Friday, I started conferencing with students! With my fifth graders SO invested in their reading, I need to heighten my game – hence, book blurbs were born this morning. :)
I’ve discovered that my fifth grade friends love talking – shocker! During independent reading time, I eliminate social talking, but I do promote ‘book talk.’ Over the past few days I have watched my friends ‘open up’ about their reading. They have been sharing quotes with their friends, pushing books into each other’s faces when they really need to share a part of the book, and have even been making book recommendations. While DRAing, I heard “Hey, once you finish Dog Tags, you should really read this book [A True Patriot]. It’s kind of like your but it’s about war written in a diary.” *swoon my teacher heart*
So, as a part of their weekly at-home practice (read: homework), I am going to channel this social side of my 5th graders giving them the choice to share book recommendations-Book Blurbs. I grabbed Sarah Beth’s Thought Bubbles and searched the internet for quotes about a few different books I wanted to feature. Then, I added the text to the bubbles, added a colorful background, and laminated. When I got to school, I added a paperclip to the back of each of the books and voila!
My students will have a black/white copy of the bubbles, and will fill their quotes/blurbs in for homework (if they choose this assignment). I’ll review the blurbs, mat a few a week (after the kids pick the paper color), and put them on display. I am SO excited to see this in action. Students will be getting book recommendations from each other, be practicing reviewing books, as well as, be learning to write short and powerful paragraphs!
Plus, I think this will be a motivator for some of my friends who have trouble finishing books…because you certainly can’t review a book until you complete it! Plus, who does not love being a star. :)
I’m curious - how do you do student-led book recommendations in your class? What can I add to my repertoire?