The Nuts and Bolts of Getting Book Clubs Up and Going

Monday, November 16 - Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Institute will be offered virtually through Zoom.

Grade: 2-5
Hours: 11am-5pm Eastern Standard Time
Featuring: Kristin Smith and Christine Ikin
Payment: Purchase orders for this institute can be made out to: Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, 525 W 120th Street, Box 77, New York, NY 10027

This institute is designed for educators who are newer to book clubs or for those who want to learn the basic foundations to getting clubs up and going and then maintaining them. We’ll draw on more than three decades of thinking and work in schools to help you learn the structures and routines that underlie successful club work, the role of the whole-class read aloud in supporting book clubs, and how to coach into clubs as they work to keep them growing as readers and club mates. You’ll also get tips on how to use club work to help support and raise the level of accountable talk and writing about reading. You’ll learn how to lead book clubs in person and virtually. This institute is for educators who want to implement book clubs within any curriculum, and is also designed to be suited for either ELA teachers or teachers who want to bring this work to content-area instruction.

The institute will start by answering the major questions educators have about management when they want to get clubs up and going. You’ll learn about setting up materials for club work, scheduling clubs, and routines you can put in place to know what each club is reading and thinking about. You’ll hear about exciting ways teachers formed clubs and launched club work. You’ll participate in your own book club to get a feel for both the excitement and tricky parts of being in a club.

As the institute moves on, you’ll get help with how to use read aloud to bolster club work. You’ll hear about read aloud clubs, and how to launch and facilitate accountable talk when the whole class is discussing the text. Then, too, the presenters will show you how to help book clubs to transfer all the work done in read aloud to get their clubs to raise the level of their work. The work done here will also give you a sense of how you can start coaching book clubs during read aloud time.

By the end of the institute, you’ll have a repertoire of ways to coach into clubs and support students in raising the level of their talk. The presenters will show you fun, powerful methods to help students talk more and build onto each other. And you’ll get tips for how to help kids collaborate in clubs if they are meeting online. You’ll also learn powerful ways to help to transfer what clubs do in their talk to their writing about reading and also how they can use writing about reading to deepen their talk. Writing about reading can leverage kids’ thinking, or it can feel like a tedious assignment from the teacher—you’ll hear how to make writing about reading in your classroom feel like the former. You’ll see examples of the kinds of writing about reading that help kids grow more nuanced, provocative ideas that spark talk, as well as examples of the writing about reading that prepares kids to prove a point. You’ll learn about ways kids can write about their reading individually or collaboratively in a group, and you’ll develop some of your own notebook pages to have at the ready as you coach kids.

The days will be utterly practical and will help you to get book clubs off the ground and make them a powerful structure in your classroom.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will be offered online, in real-time via Zoom, and will not be recorded for later distribution. We will accept attendees until the institute has reached capacity.