Leap Into Literacy 5th Grade


Book Clubs: Predictable Problems and Possible Solutions

At this summer's TCRWP Homegrown Reading Workshop Institute, Kara Arnold (TC Staff Developer) shared some tips for book clubs. Here are common problems that sometimes come up during these units along with some possible solutions.

  • Problem: Students struggle with their weekly book club reading.

    • Possible Solution: Help that group plan their weekly reading. Check their reading logs and help them set realistic goals.

  • Problem: Club talk is not deep or engaging.

  • Problem: Some students are speed readers, and some are slow readers.

    • Possible Solution: Students who finish their reading quickly can reread a section. This can be compared to rewatching a TV show or rewinding a part of a movie.

    • Possible Solution: Students having trouble keeping up the pace of their book club can pre-read the night before or catch up at home.

  • Problem: It’s hard to keep track of what book clubs are working on.

    • Possible Solution: Make an accountability chart. List the book club names, which pages they agree to read, and what topic they will discuss when they meet.


Tips for Analyzing and Scoring a Ton of Writing

Is the thought of scoring your on-demand writing pieces making you feel overwhelmed? Here are some useful tips from the popular website Two Writing Teachers (www.twowritingteachers.org).

A. Priority Scoring

  1. Read and organize pieces from students who receive extra services first so the information can be shared with others who work with those students

  2. Sort in three stacks

      1. Quickest to score

      2. Longest to score

      3. Somewhere in the middle

B. Swapping Papers

  1. Swapping papers with another teacher can help provide consistency within a grade with scoring

C. Setting a timer

  1. Instead of deliberating over every nuance of a single piece of writing, consider giving yourself a time limit of 15 minutes

D. The One-Thing-At-A-Time Strategy

  1. Take 5-6 pieces of student writing and read in their entirety.

  2. Analyze and score at one time on each piece, i.e. leads

  3. Then go on to another part of the paper

E. Note-Taking As You Go

  1. Keep track of what you are learning about each student as you go

From: Tips for Analyzing and Scoring a Ton of Writing