Tag Archives: Reading

Annotations and Quote Responses

Annotations and Quote Responses

Shared by Barb Bird

These assignments are designed to encourage student engagement with assigned readings–first to understand the reading and to consider its component claims and then to respond thoughtfully to one of those claims.


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Reader’s Notebooks

Reader’s Notebook

Shared by Elizabeth Baldridge

Inspired by Jeanne Henry, Nancie Atwell, and Meagan Newberry

This semester, I’m trying to make the joy reading component of class more focused on the joy. I’ve dialed the work back and dialed the intensity down and tried to strike a balance between my need/desire to hold students accountable and the reality that external motivators and consequences aren’t conducive to reading for pleasure.

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Book Reflections

Book Reflection Example

Shared by Gael Grossman

Book Reflections (silent reading) – You will be reading independently chosen books this semester.  A book will need to be approved by me and generally be at least 200 pages in length.  A book may be fiction or nonfiction. They may not be an assigned book, a textbook, or a requirement for another class.  It should not be a book you’ve already read. For around every 25-30 pages read, you will write a 1 page typed response.  This is not a summary of the pages but more a discussion of personal connections you had with the book so far. This can include your likes/dislikes, predictions of where the book will go next, and reflections (what it makes you think about outside the book).

We will discuss and practice this in class first.

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Book Club Materials

Book Ballot

Ground Rules for Book Clubs

Book Checkout Form

Reading Strategies 101

Reading Strategies 101Filledin

Book Club Reflections 216

The Envelope please

Book Club Final Reflections

Shared by Meagan Newberry

With inspiration from/credit to Harvey Daniels’s Literature Circles

Students formed groups based on the book of their choice (they turn in a top 3 out of a choice of about six—I got a grant to buy sets of book). They met for about 20-30 minutes once a week. They set their own ground rules, after we talked a bit about what makes a group  work, etc. I also spent time on reading strategies (attached, but I use those separately with the whole class, or even in classes without book clubs).The “Book Club Reflections 216” attachment is one example of what I asked them all to do each time they met. I used the honor system and asked them to report if they read or not, and if so, how much. I found that students self-reported pretty accurately, and I simply choose not to police them because I want the crux of this to be reading both for pleasure and the challenge of discussing chosen reading. Most students participate actively and enjoy the process. Of course, a few are always unprepared, and we talk about how to prevent that. For those few, the “grade threat” sadly is what pushes them to try to be prepared. I really hope for intrinsic motivation with this, and for 80% of students, it works really well. I highly recommend a copy of “Literature Circles” or “Mini-Lessons for Literature Circles,” both by Harvey Daniels.

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Lit Letters

Lit Letters

Shared by Elizabeth Baldridge

With inspiration from/credit to Nancie Atwell’s The Reading Zone

This assignment asks students to write critical response letters to their instructor and their classmates about their joy reading books.  The assignment sheet itself borrows heavily and extensively from Atwell’s.  There’s very little original material here.

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Name Game

The Name Game

Wach’s “What’s in a Name?

Shared by Sarah Alexander Tsai

By investigating the origins and meanings of their own names, students learn how to blend primary research (especially personal interviews) with focused personal narrative.  Since this fairly low-stakes assignment also functions nicely as a community builder, I like to assign it early on.  Recommended accompanying readings for this assignment are as follows:

  • Bonnie Wach’s “What’s in a Name?”
  • Tom Rosenberg’s “Changing My Name after Sixty Years”
  • Sandra Cisneros’ “My Name”


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Book List

Fall 2015 Book List

Book List (updated August 2014)

Shared by Elizabeth Baldridge

This is my updated book list used for the first part of the joy reading component of my course. Students choose their first joy reading book from this list (subsequent books just have to get my approval).


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