The Easiest Book Talk Ever

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Who knew moms in my community felt so strongly about nonstick skillets? Our facebook group has about 7,000 members and new posts almost every minute. These are some active moms to say the least, making requests like this one abound:

53 people have an opinion they want to share publicly about nonstick skillets. Wow.

What is this need to share how we feel about things we like and don’t like with people we don’t know? I could be cliche and say, “It’s community! We want to feel like we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves.” But I think the truth is a little simpler: We all have opinions. If someone asks for it, we’ll give it to them.

With this in mind, this year I gave my readers the opportunity to share their opinion about their self-selected independent books they’re reading. I gave them a space in the room to share and a method for sharing. It’s pretty high tech, so take notes.

  1. I gave each student a note card to put their name on.
  2. I printed some cards that say, “Just started reading” “Is in the middle of reading” and “Just finished reading.”
  3. I printed, laminated, and cut out some emojis. GET EMOJI PAGES HERE (page 1, page 2, page 3)
  4. I bought a $5 roll of magnet tape at Wal Mart.
  5. I put them all on the board.

The results:

 

 

 

 

 

Without instructing them to, they check the board before and after class to see what others are reading.

They’ve talked to students in other classes about the book they’re reading.

They’ve started reading the same book as a student in another class, so they can read it together and talk about it.

They discuss which emoji fits their book best, and change it regularly depending on what’s going on in the book.

They are beaming with pride when they get to change a card from “just started” to “is in the middle” to “just finished.”

They keep each other accountable, “When are you going to finish ______ because I want to read it!” or “____, why don’t you have a book written next to your name? You need to find one!”

We’re loving this so far! What are you loving about how your students share what they’re reading with each other?

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