How forming a book club in school or college can help the students engage in reading and learning.

How forming a book club in school or college can help the students engage in reading and learning.

We see that the reading groups and book clubs are a hugely popular way of engaging readers and are a way of opening the box of reading delights most of the time. If they belong to a book group themselves they will know that the pleasure of reading is multiplied when we share our ideas, explore differences of opinion as well as find common interests. They will need little convincing that setting up a book club in school is a good thing as well. But what is the best way of going about it is the question we ask. A Live teaching app can help students in such a case as well.  We know that it is likely that this is the first question they asked themselves when they decided to set up their group. There are some things to think about as well for instance is it going to be an open group with members self-selecting? Do they have a target age group in mind? Do they have a particular group in mind, e.g. ‘reluctant readers’, high attaining readers, mother as well as daughter reading group (or fathers and sons), transition reading group for children going to secondary school, teachers’ reading group as well? What limit will they put on numbers? We see that the chapter book recommends a maximum of 15 but 8 -10 might feel like a more manageable number for younger children and will allow everyone to contribute without breaking into smaller groups as well. We see it also means that if there are some absences, the group won’t feel too small as well. We see that answering this first question will help them with the answers to some of the following questions. For example, if they want to run a mother as well as daughter reading group, it may be likely that this happens: we see that a self-selected group might run as a club after school or during the lunch break; a mother and daughter reading group may need to run outside regular school hours; then a teachers book club could replace a staff meeting once every second term. Are they sitting comfortably? We see that the next question focuses on where they are going to hold their book club. If they have a school library, this may be the most obvious place. For that ‘book club’ feel, they will want to create an atmosphere that doesn’t feel like a lesson. Is the area cozy and welcoming is what they should ask. What seating arrangement is going to suit them, around a table, informal soft seating as well? Will they need to have access to materials for drawing, writing, etc.? Will they provide refreshments? Books, as well as food, complement each other perfectly, even if it’s simply juice and biscuits. We see that for the occasional special treat, they might theme a snack to accompany the book that you are reading e.g. jam tarts for certain books. We see that there are choices, and more choices so they must ask what will they read? How will they approach this will be determined to some extent by the type of group they are setting up. For instance, a group of high attaining readers may have the goal of developing greater breadth or offering choices that they may not select themselves as well. We see that a group of ‘reluctant readers’, may want to develop greater independence and build in an element of member choice. We see that for special groups like a mother as well as daughter reading groups, they might choose a book that allows a discussion about a shared experience at the same time. We see that most book clubs involve all members reading the same book so that there is a shared context for discussion, but it is also possible that members choose different books which they review as well as bring to the group, thus widening the reading repertoire through peer recommendation as well. We see that the time is right when they do it.  How often should they meet? They need to allow readers enough time to read the book but they also want to keep the momentum going, so once a fortnight, or once a month may be frequent enough as well. We see that they keep the meetings regular, e.g. the second as well as fourth Tuesday every month so that the meeting pattern is established and schedule dates in their diary. We see that the group may lose interest if there are too many cancellations as well as postponements through a lack of planning as well. We see that a book club shouldn’t feel like a lesson, so they need to guard against working towards a set of outcomes as well as allow the discussion to follow the interest of the group. Nevertheless, we see that it can help to have some prepared questions or statements to kick start the discussion as well. We see that there is no wrong way to do a book club. They may have internalized the idea that they need to have dozens of jobs set up and taught before they can officially place students in a book club. We know that there is nothing inherently wrong with incorporating different roles into their students’ book clubs, but if this has been holding them back from getting started. People want them to know that jobs are not necessary for book club success as well. We see that the real key to hosting well-run book clubs is to have a clear agenda as well. We know that students thrive when things are consistent as well as predictable as we have seen mostly. We see that explicitly stating what should be done during book club, and for how long as well. This can help them find a suitable group on the online classes app

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