Book Discussion: Leaders of Their Own Learning – Celebrations of Learning

Here at Bettendorf Middle School we were lucky enough to bring some of our teachers to a three day training conducted by Expeditionary Learning. It was an amazing three days of learning, relearning, and examining how and what we teach.

Part of the training we used and read the book Leaders of Their Own Learning by Ron Berger. Since that training we have been trying to figure out how to keep the momentum going by not losing the powerful conversations and breakdown of how we teach.

We have decided to launch a book club on this book. For now we are going to focus on one chapter: Celebrations of Learning. We are a project based learning school and in April we will host our second exhibition night. We feel that by reading this chapter now and thinking through what makes for a powerful learning event we can develop a very powerful exhibition event for both students and the community.

As I worked with my other colleagues to prepare for this book club I thought it would be important to open up the dialogue to educators outside of our building.

Here is how it will work

1. Grab a copy of the book so you can read along with us.

2. Download the Voxer App and create an account.

3. Email or reach out to me via social media with your Voxer ID so I can add you to our book club group.

4. Between now and February 25th we will be discussing this chapter on Voxer. We will host specific questions, but more importantly this will be our chance to share out our ideas about the material. I will share out the Question Guide soon so we have some common threads to focus on.

5. At some point between now and then I will host a Google Hangout so we can talk live and in person.

6. On February 25th we will announce the next chapter for the book club.

I hope you will consider joining us. We look forward to hearing from you and your thoughts as well as sharing what our thoughts and ideas are and how we try to make sense of all this being a public middle school of 1100 students.

 

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Book Club Meeting Another Success

Tonight we met at the public library to discuss our second book in our little book club. When I say “we” I am referring to some wonderful teachers and staff at the middle school where I teach(or attempt to anyway).

I started the club to have a chance to talk about books and see some people that I don’t always get a chance to talk to during the routine of my school day.

The first time we met we read and discussed True Grit and there was only three of us.

Tonight we expanded to five members as we talked about Winter’s Bone.

It was another success. It is important for us to have time away from students and the YA world. We spend so much time reading YA novels(rightfully so as they are really good). However, it is important to take a step away and just have some adult talk about adult novels. These two novels have lead to some great discussion as they both take on the journey idea of a young female in pursuit of find their father. This was not intended, but it worked out that way.

We have decided to read one more book before the school year ends. Time is of the essence as we have only about a month left until we are done for the year.

For our third book club we are going to read Heaven is for Real.

Have you read this book? Feel free to leave some insight, ideas, questions, etc.

Do you have any other book club suggestions. We found it humorous how out of touch we were with the non YA world and are in need of some suggestions.

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Book Club: Next Book Selection

Here it is….

Our next book selection in our book club. We are keeping to the idea of books turned into movies so we can read, watch, and compare.

The book club last night was quite enjoyable. We had a great time meeting in person to discuss the book in a very laid back manner.

I have kept up on some notes and ideas from our first book, True Grit, over on the wiki http://coffeechugbookclub.wikispaces.com/

Feel free to check it out. I will be adding a Winter’s Bone page later today and getting ready for that discussion. Feel free to join the wiki and throw in your two cents worth on the books.

I have the movie on hold at the library and intend on reading the book first and then watching the movie.

Book Club is open to all. Look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Friday

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Online Book Club: True Grit – PLEASE JOIN AND ADD THOUGHTS, IDEAS, QUESTIONS, LINKS, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

I am reading True Grit again to prepare for a book club that I am running. I have also made the book club available online for anyone who is interested.

I will be having a meeting with some friends and teachers this Thursday to discuss the book in person and will share our ideas afterwards, but for now I have the wiki up and running.

As I am reading the novel for the second time I am realizing how much I love this book.

I want/need more input as I like to hear from all the great minds out there.

So here is the link to the wiki http://coffeechugbookclub.wikispaces.com/

Check it out. Join the wiki and post your thoughts ideas, links, and other tidbits about the book or movie.

I look forward to making this wiki very interactive with more books to be read and shared in the future. There is a page to suggest books to be read next and on Thursday another book will be decided.

Get involved and share your insights. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

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Books Turned Movie Book Club

Check out my new online wiki page. I will not go into great detail here on the blog, but feel free to check out the online book club site and if you wish to join, then be my guest.

http://coffeechugbookclub.wikispaces.com/

Sunday night as I was watching the Oscars I had an idea. The first thought was that I had not viewed a single movie that was nominated and therefore need to upgrade my movie watching from Tangled and Gnomeo and Juliet. Second, it was a big year for novels turned into movies. I was reading an article this morning that suggested that 2011 will be an even bigger year for books turned into movies. My gears started turning and I decided to go and read the books of the movies nominated this year and do the same with the movies coming out. Then, I thought that it would be fun to have others to discuss the books and movies in terms of what we liked, did not like, themes, etc.

So, here I am the next day creating yet another wiki for me to use. I hope you sign up and join us on our reading voyages.

All you have to do is join the wiki. I will accept you and away you go with adding your thoughts and ideas.

I will keep important dates and meetings posted under the “Calendar” page.

This is still in the early stages so as I have time to develop this wiki I will try to make it look better and better.

If you join, feel free to spice things up a little.

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That is us!

We had an awesome chat Tuesday night with the author Jennifer Brown and her novel Hate List. I am currently making a video about the experience, but I could not pass up the opportunity to share that she blogged about us and in particular our one and only brave student who was not afraid to voice her opinion. You go girl and here is the post on Jennifer Brown’s blog.

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