Intermediate School Book Clubs

One of the things we are most proud of here at Brookstone is our reading and writing curriculum.

Over the last few summers, several teachers from the lower and intermediate schools have traveled to Columbia University in New York to train in their Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project, including 4th grade teacher, Cathy Smith, and 5th grade teacher, Mia Rice.

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Lucy Calkins, founder and director of Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project.

What these teachers bring back to our classrooms is nothing short of amazing.

The intermediate school has recently implemented a new part of the reading workshop: reading book clubs. Here’s what that involves…In reading book clubs, the students are grouped with classmates to set goals and read a chapter book together in one week. While reading the books, students must use a strategy taught in reading workshop called “post-it note writing.” They post-it note ideas that “grow” as they read and they get together every day to discuss those ideas and continue to flesh them out.

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Near the end of the week, the group compiles all the post-it notes onto an “anchor chart,” which is a key tool used by the teacher in reading workshop. This student created anchor chart then serves as a tool to teach the other students about the book and to encourage them to read it!

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The enthusiasm for this approach is real. According to Mrs. Smith, this “differentiated, student-centered approach to our reading instruction instills a true love and appreciation of the written word.”

She continues, “Our students are not only reading, but they are forming opinions, collaborating with others, drawing conclusions, providing feedback, etc.” This is collaborative, creative learning in action right here!

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In fact, Cathy is so passionate about the reading and writing work being done here in the lower and intermediate school, she emphasizes, in all caps, “BROOKSTONE OFFERS SOMETHING TO CHILDREN THAT NO ONE ELSE IN THE SURROUNDING AREA HAS TO OFFER!”

Can you tell she believes in what she’s teaching?

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