I love linking up to a wonderful celebratory community, inspired by Ruth Ayres, every Saturday!
Some of you know that I taught one group of kids for three years when I started teaching gifted language arts in the district I'm in now. I moved with them from 4th grade to the intermediate building, and then taught them in 5th and 6th grade. At the end of their 6th grade year, I finally had to say goodbye to them, and now they're at the junior high in 7th grade. That was the hardest goodbye ever!
A lot of the kids were e-mailing this year, asking me for book suggestions, and a couple visited my building, catching me up on their lives. We missed each other! Just last month it dawned on me, why not get together more often and talk about one of our favorite things...books!! I decided to start a 7th grade girls' book club. I debated over the "just girls" thing because the boys I taught loved books, too; however, I thought it would be easier to choose books and manage the size of the group if I asked just the girls.
I sent them all an e-mail, and I had great, positive responses! Some couldn't come on the date I set because of activities and sports, but they were all excited about it, and those that couldn't come this time are hoping to come in March. We met last Sunday at our local Barnes & Noble's Starbucks, and ten girls came! I had Tweeted a couple Nerdy Book Club junior high teacher friends, Jillian Heise and Gretchen Taylor, asking for titles, and they responded with some great ideas. I got them at the library and bookstores and brought them all with me. A couple girls did dramatic readings of the summaries, and we picked books for March, April, and May.
March - The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
April - Pivot Point by Kasie West
May - The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner (who said she'd Skype us!)
We chose two girls to be discussion leaders for each of the next three meetings. We'll take the summer off and come back together in the fall. It was a blast to catch up on all their lives and talk books together again!