Edmodo for “Book Clubs”
How many of you have ever felt that you were not meeting the needs of students in your literacy block? Do you have difficulty engaging all types of learners in reading? Is differentiation a challenge? If you answered yes to any of these questions, here is my methodology to meeting the varied needs of students in my classroom during literacy.
Enter Edmodo for Book Clubs
This post will cover how I meet the needs of my higher level readers, but can be adapted for all reading levels. The first step to a purposeful book club is giving students multiple choices of books they can read. I usually give three options for students to review over the course of a few days and have them discuss which book might be the most engaging. It’s valuable for students to have a voice in what book they’d like to read. Students then create a list of rules they will follow for the duration of the book club.
SIDE NOTE: I know what you’re thinking, what if they don’t agree. A consensus must be made in a respectful way. I’ve been doing book clubs for five years and have yet to run into an issue.
What are the jobs?
When students participate in a book club there is 5-6 main roles and responsibilities. The sixth job, if applicable, would be the story sketcher. They can sketch their visualizations of what they read on construction paper or using an app like Skitch of Educreations.
The next step would be to create a small group in Edmodo within the larger classroom group, so only students I assign to the book club will have access to the materials. Then I create a folder to house all the required materials in the small group, as well as the book club job google docs.
Each job has a specific google doc the students type in. This becomes a digital notebook, where each student contributes to when they are assigned that specific job. Jobs rotate after reading a predetermined amount of pages/chapters. The students, as well as myself, find it very powerful to be able to see other’s ideas ,build a true collaborative learning environment, and maintain a digital footprint.
My role and responsibility is to meet with the group once a week. If I notice students are not comprehending what they are reading, I will meet as nessesary to clear up any misunderstandings. During the meeting time my job is to be a participant, not be the leader. I usually read the books with the students as a way to ensure they are understanding what their reading and for my own enjoyment. I also question and comment, as I see fit, to deepen understanding.
My other main role is to provide purposeful feedback on their google docs. As I mentioned in this earlier post, I can’t stress the importance of providing explicit, focused feedback to augment understanding and ensure students are reading the text “closely.”
If a student does not have access to technology at home, they can write out their responses in their Reader’s Notebook.
UPDATED: 3/23/2013 – Based on student feedback, students felt they would like to respond only 50 percent of the time because they felt they were too focused on completing their job and it was hampering their comprehension of the story.
As with any blog post, any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I am always looking to connect with others and learn from your perspective and experiences. I am also very open to the idea of connecting classes for a remote book club! So drop me a comment to inform me how you run your book clubs!
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