Are YOU ready for Book Chat?

Are YOU ready for Book Chat?

Written by Paige Mustaro |

Picture via google http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/photobooth/Books-05-2000.jpg |

Summer came and went and now students are starting their year at Morgan. Students were given the option to take part in the book chat or to complete the required reading book for their grade level. On September 20th, 85% of our students here at Morgan will be taking part in the 8th annual “I Love this Book” book chat. Staff members agreed to host book chats on thirty eight different books.  Students could choose which of the thirty-eight they wanted to read over the summer.

At the end of the last school year, the current sophomores, juniors, and seniors were told by their English teachers to pick their top three books from the book chat choices list, After each student choose their top three choices, Mr. Serenbetz, English Department Chair,  assigned students to one of their three book choices. After everyone was assigned his or her  book, school let out and the students only long term homework was to do the reading.

I interviewed Mr. Serenbetz to see how he would improve or change the book chat.”Students should have their own copy of the book  which they could mark with notes or mark their favorite section,” said Mr. Serenbetz. It would be nice if each student had their own book so they could follow along in the discussion. Students without the book during the discussion can make it more difficult because when students cannot follow along in the book, they may eventually lose motivation to take part.

Students have no real school work to do during the summer break, so taking time to read a couple books is not a hard thing. Some students just do not have any motivation to do work during the summer because summer is meant for having fun and not doing school work. I asked a fellow senior, Shelby Bowman, what she thought about students not having the motivation to do work over the summer, and she replied; “Students don’t realize that not doing any summer reading or work really hurts them when school starts again in the fall becuase it makes remembering all of the information they learned in the preivious year harder to remember.”

I went and spoke to science teacher, Mrs. Kaestle, about book chat. I asked her if she would change or improve it in anyway. Mrs. Kaestle states, “Students should have their own copy of the book to follow along better. The students should become student leaders and come up with questions to ask the rest of the students instead of teachers having to lead the discussion.” I happen to agree with her statement that each student should become a leader and create  questions because it would get the students more involved and get them motivated to talk during the discussion. Now students just answer quickly without much detail, and they are not as involved as they could be.

Hopefully, all students have read their book chat books and are ready to discuss the book with their assigned book chat group. Each teacher participating in the chat is excited to meet with the group of students to  talk about the book. Note to students participating: be prepared to answer questions with the class!