During this last school year, students have experienced various modes of learning–hybrid, remote, and now all-in. To keep students learning, reading, and connecting, book clubs were a hit for both Susan Cook, a 5th-grade teacher at Brown Elementary, and Ashley Lambacher, media specialist at Memorial Middle School. The two friends chatted in January about other creative and meaningful ways to connect students through book clubs.
Over the last 4 weeks, students from Memorial Middle School and Brown Elementary have been participating in book clubs using Zoom, Flipgrid, and Canvas to connect, talk, and collaborate with one another. Each book had the theme of “overcoming obstacles.” For the last book club meeting, students were able to meet each other in person for a pizza celebration outdoors. When asked what they liked best about this collaboration, 5th-grade students shared, “the Memorial students were respectful to us and made us feel like we were a part of something- like we belonged…. they asked questions that made us think from a different perspective.” The middle school students said, “it was fun to be mentors because I wanted them to help them love books as much as I do, they were excited to talk about the characters and this made it engaging and fun.”
The best part, the students built caring relationships with one another around quality books. We’re hopeful that next school year these collaborations will extend into other content areas and buildings.