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monthly book reports
Old 07-15-2009, 09:02 AM
 
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Does anyone do monthly book reports? What do you do? What kind of letter do you send parents about this? Thanks


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I do monthly book projects
Old 07-15-2009, 10:03 AM
 
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I started these 2 years ago as a replacement for reading logs. Let's face it, many parents lie and sign a log saying their child read when it's very clear they did not. Now my students have a project to complete. We do use some class time on it, but all the reading is homework and so is the final project.

I switch each month to a different book genre. If I could get in my classroom I'd upload the letters. PM me with your email and when I go back into my room end of July I will send them to you.

Here's an example: In October they read a mystery book. Their report is put onto a haunted house. Each house element must contain a story element. So a window might reveal what the mystery is. The door might be the first clue used to solve it. The roof might contain a summary of the main characters etc... Some kids made this on flat poster board and others actually built 3-D models. They really turn out cute and we often dsiplay them in our room and our school library.

I much prefer this to traditional book reports. We do on occasion do the basic one, but I try to combine art with all of them.

Hope this helps some
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monthly book reports
Old 07-15-2009, 10:04 AM
 
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i was considering just this thing! i don't want the kids to start resenting reading because every book they read would have to have a report or project due for it.

i thought about having 3 book reports due each quarter, so one due each 3 weeks.... (but once a month means only 2- that sounds even better- at least the first quarter) and give a choice of maybe 5 options (book talk, written report, diarama of a setting, venn diagram of the main character and themselves, etc)

we have to type out the 1st quarter assignments and assessments for our principal for each subject.. this is a new 'summer headache' we just found out about last week.... and it seems he wants to give them to the parents so my parents will know about the book reports. BUT, if that falls through (please please) then i may communicate it at open house, posted in the hallway on a small parent info board near my door, in their agendas, and maybe i'd send home a monthly or bi-weekly 'big project and test update'

i'd love to hear more ideas about this!!!!!!
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Fantastic website!
Old 07-15-2009, 10:45 AM
 
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Somebody posted this on another thread...I LOVE this link and plan to use it in my classroom this upcoming school year. Very creative!

http://lewisleaders.weebly.com/book-reports.html
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:52 AM
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:45 AM
 
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I do what I call Independent Reading Response Journals, one each quarter. The students read and respond to books they have chosen themselves. I provide them with a list of prompts for their writing. Each prompt is to be a complete paragraph and is worth 3 points. They can respond to a maximum of 4 prompts per book.

At the end of the quarter I collect the notebooks and read their responses. I do not correct any errors in spelling or grammar, but I comment several places within the journal. The following quarter works the same way, but the point totals for any particular grade are higher.

The list of prompts that I use are not original...I found them someplace on-line and tweaked them for my class.


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Old 07-15-2009, 02:02 PM
 
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thanks sweetmilker. you're right-the website is awesome. I am already planning to incorporate this into my curriculum. Thanks again!
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Every other month for me
Old 07-15-2009, 02:11 PM
 
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I did monthly book projects last year, but I think I'm going to do them once quarterly this year. One in August that we do together, then Sept, Nov, Jan, and March.

The August project will be a windsock, Sept is a book cover, Nov is ??? don't remember right now, Jan is a Biography File Folder -- this is their research project, and March is a Poetry project. The kids really have a great time with these.......parents want to pull their hair out, but the kids always do well!
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Mrs. Renz
Old 07-15-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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There is a wonderful teacher in Oregon named Mrs. Renz who has a terrific and extensive list of book projects. Here is the link:http://www.mrsrenz.net/zistel/index.html
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book reports
Old 07-15-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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We have a required reading book in the summer along with another book of their choosing from a list. Then, once a month (during the school year), I allow them to choose a book that is at least 100 pages. I give them a book project to do on that book. My goal is to get them to read instead of limiting them to a certain genre.
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Limiting vs. exposing
Old 07-15-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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I don't necessarily think requiring the kids to read a certain genre each month is limiting them...I think it actually exposes the kids to different genres. Many of my students do not enjoy reading science fiction, but I made that particular genre a requirement one month. Those kids moaned and groaned at the beginning, but after they read a science fiction book and completed the project on it, they told me that they really liked that genre and would like to read more books from it! If I didn't require my kids to read certain genres each month, they would stay in their "comfort zone" and only read what they're comfortable with.


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Old 07-15-2009, 07:12 PM
 
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sweetmilker thanks for the link...way cool!!!
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:03 AM
 
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AWESOME link! Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:19 AM
 
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I guess I might have a different opinion...but I wonder how many of the kids develop a better love of learning or become better readers by doing these projects? As a child I WOULD HAVE LOVED THEM because I loved creative projects, loved to read, and was a total teacher pleaser. I think many teachers can relate to this! My son is a great reader and has had his love of "school reading" killed by projects. He even refers to "school reading" vs. "real reading" and has figured out that many kids finish their projects without having really read the book. He even picks books he won't enjoy or won't challenge him to make his projects easier.

Anyhoo...just food for thought. When I had my back-to-school parent meeting, I had many of the parents ask me if we were doing monthly book projects (all the 3rd grade teachers are big into them) and when I said no, they applauded.

Anyway--just wanted to present the other side. They might be cute and some kids love them--but I'm not quite sure academically what they accomplish. Please don't attack me...I'm merely trying to present the other side.
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:00 AM
 
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my dear, this is exactly waht i have been wrestling with...

<in the voice of hamlet>
to report, or not to report, THAT is the question!

that is why i thought monthly might be enough to ensure most were reading and yet not build up resentment..

i've read some 'research' that showed zero book reports did better buildilng up love of reading but yet i am concerned about the dreaded state testing and wanting some projects that would focus on skills they need for that......

this is a thought-provoking thread........
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:22 AM
 
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I guess I would argue that the book reports don't really focus on test skills...and certainly not in a "testing" situation that they would automatically apply.

Plus...how many kids are really doing these independently? Under a time crunch? Using a short text like is found on tests?

I guess my point is--if you want to teach test skills, I'm not sure this is the most efficient/effective way.

Offering book projects as enrichment activities for kids is something I have done for years--and many kids LOVE them. But for those who don't....
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enrichment
Old 07-16-2009, 06:34 AM
 
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So...when you say you offer book reports as enrichment, are you saying these are extra credit projects?
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book reports
Old 07-16-2009, 07:18 AM
 
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I agree that book reports are beneficial, but I don't think it is necessary to do one every month. We assign 3 book reports per year at my school and I think that it is enough considering that we assign projects in other subject areas. And besides, who wants to grade 20+ book reports more than 3 times a year?!? Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:24 AM
 
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I don't give extra credit. I often offer enrichment projects...book projects, science activities, research opportunities, etc. that kids can work on with their families. They bring them in, share with the class, and we display them. It's for the love of learning--not points.
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to those who PM'd me
Old 07-16-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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I will email copies to you at the end of July. I plan to send them in word, but if that doesn't work for you let me know and I'll see if I can convert them to PDF.

Follow up info. I don't have one for every month ex. December is crazy so we don't have anything that month. Also all of the projects correspond to some CA standard ex writing a summary. It is also a standard that students read across the genre's so this is one way I know they are being exposed to the ones they don't naturally select.

Our district is in year 3 of PI so everything we do is standards based. This leaves almost 0 time for art so by using these projects I can incorporate it . Yes, some kids mght get help at home, however at least its content help not just a signature saying they read. Personally I find that almost all of my students love doing these. Of course some projects appeal to them more than others, but that's true about everything.

Since some of the project is done in class it let's me see how kids are processing the skills I've taught and also comprehending the books they've chosen. They also then have something that is ongoing work to do while I meet with small groups.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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I love these ideas!! Thanks you so much for sharing!!!!!
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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I would appreciate it if you would email me the letters you use as well. I teach reading for ESE 6th-8th grade students. Even though your letters might be for younger classes, I would love to see them and modify them if necessary. Thanks so much!! My email is g8trzz@aol.com
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Thank you
Old 07-24-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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This is an awesome website, thanks. I will be using some of them this year.
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Every year it changes for me...
Old 07-24-2009, 06:43 PM
 
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For awhile, I had students choose the genre and project from a list.

The last year I taught (just coming back from a year home with my kids), I gave students two choices of genre and two choices of a project for the two times I assigned projects. They also did one or two book reviews.

This year, I was planning on doing the same thing, but I recently came up with the idea of having students do one genre and one author study. I haven't drafted it yet, but my idea is that students will pick a genre and read 3 or 4 books from that genre. As they complete the book, they will have to plug in information on a comparison matrix. I'm not sure exactly what the columns will be (definitely title, author, and a brief summary). I am thinking that I will have check-in dates when students will have to pass in their work in progress. At the end, I would like to think of a culminating project. I would do something similar for the author study. I am currently writing curriculum and haven't had time to get my ideas down on paper. I will definitely post what I do when I finish it.

In the mean time, I will post what I've done in previous years.
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Here's one...
Old 07-24-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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Students were given a choice of two different genres and two different projects.
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File Type: doc BookProjectsOct07.doc (39.0 KB, 187 views)
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And the other...
Old 07-24-2009, 06:52 PM
 
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Here's the other one I assigned in the 07-08 school year.
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Letters
Old 08-06-2009, 05:31 AM
 
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I really could use help with letters too!
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project ideas too
Old 08-29-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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I would like to request the book projects too, email to : tstefan@nsd131.org
Thanks
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Irrj
Old 07-28-2010, 09:13 AM
 
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I absolutely love this idea! I will be using this, this coming school year
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