The Slice of Life March Writing Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers – 31 days of a writing community.
We begin book clubs in late October, after weeks of independent reading and conferring. My sixth graders are excited to begin, and that excitement spills over into their meetings which are loud and chaotic, no matter how carefully we have prepared with mini lessons about discussion prompts and rules. Our walls ring with chatter and laughter. There is confusion, and arguments break out: Wait, you said that already, it’s my turn now! Hey, no one is letting me talk, this is SO unfair! We were supposed to read to chapter six, ’cause I only read to chapter 2?! Wanna walk to town for pizza after school? I race from group to group, assessing, redirecting, helping my kids to find their way. By the time book clubs end, I am in serious need of a nap. I am also seriously wondering whether the endeavor is worth all the hassle.
Book Clubs now:
We meet briefly to discuss what we will discuss, and then my kiddos fan out to their favorite meeting spots, spread out their notebooks, and decide the direction they’d like to take. The “famous” Smith Rice Krispie treats are distributed (home made by me, the night before), and a low rumble fills the classroom. I make my way from group to group, listening and adding a few comments here and there. Mostly, I find that although they politely make room for me to sit on the carpet beside them, my kids don’t need me. So I make my way back to my little corner of the classroom, take a sip of my stone cold tea, and just enjoy the moment. The book club endeavor is definitely worth that early hassle.