Reading Groups Created by Reading Level
To create Digital Book Clubs successfully was a lot of behind the scenes work. The first thing we did was approve this idea by our principals. Once we got the okay to move forward, we split up our students based on reading level. We created six groups with about 3-5 students in each group. We then developed a Google Sheet with students names, student emails, and reading level for each group. This organization helped when sharing documents and working throughout the school year.
‘Get To Know You’ Day
Before introducing the idea to our students we provided them with a Get To Know You Day. Deanna and I started a Google Hangout that connected my class to hers and we had students ask any question they wanted. Some inquired about the geographic differences between our hometowns, football teams, school size, or even favorite ice cream flavors! The conversations were important in creating a open and safe climate between our two classes. When we were done with the Hangout, we gave each student a “buddy” to learn more about that was in their group. The students shared and answered questions to learn more about this student. The students had a BLAST with this Get To Know You Day and we were all excited for what more was to come. That day I sent home a Digital Book Club information sheet to parents and they were thrilled with their child being able to participate in this experience.
Pick Great Books!
Each group at a different reading level received their own book to read. When we picked out books for each group, we had to think about student interest and books that we knew students would love to read. Then, we created a planner for each book sectioning off each part of the book. This planner would help keep Deanna and I organized and be handed out to the students in each group to let the kids know what section of the book we would like to read and by what day.
Throughout each week I met with each student independently and check that they are reading the selection of text required. These meetings usually last about two or three minutes. The check in times are a way for me to prepare students for our discussion and check for appropriate comprehension. While students read, they are asked to come up with at least three flags (post-its) filled with questions, comments, ideas, things they noticed, etc. These flags are vital for our conversation during the Google Hangouts.
Write About the Text
Directly after our discussion, students are asked to answer a writing prompt about the text. This writing prompt is on a shared Google Document and sent to all students. We set it up this way because we want students to continue collaborating and discussing electronically. Students are allowed to use the comment feature to respond to others’ response to the question. Here is an example of the way we set up these written responses.
Reach out to me if you would like more information about our Digital Book Clubs!
Purdy Elementary School
Fort Atkinson, WI
Mrs. Perkin's Classroom Website
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