Talking Texts: A Teachers' Guide to Book Clubs across the Curriculum
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About the Author
I first met Lesley Roessing in 2010 through the Coastal Savannah Writing Project where she Founding Director. Since that time, I have been her most eager student, gleaning her rich and innovative ideas for use in my classroom and in professional development with colleagues. I have been excited for each new book and have used the ideas found in them to transform the way that I teach and the ideas that I present to others. This book will be no exception. Teachers are hungry for books that offer proven, practical ideas that cover a multitude of ages and types of learners. More than that, they are eager for ideas that move their students from being reluctant readers to a place where they find their voice and are eager to share ideas found within the pages of a book. I believe that Talking Texts will do just that.
Whenever I talk about the value of book clubs to teachers at workshops and conferences around the country, I am inevitably greeted with enthusiasm and one vital question, "How can I make book clubs work well in my classroom?" Lesley Roessing's Talking Texts: A Teacher's Guide to Book Clubs Across the Curriculum is the long-awaited answer to that question. Roessing's book lays it all out for the busy teacher, discussing getting started, teaching the social skills needed for fruitful interaction around text, transitioning from reading workshop to book clubs, student self-reflection, assessment, and much more. The book is informed throughout by current research and best-practice instruction that is designed to help children become more engaged, more thoughtful, and better comprehending readers. For a current, informative, pragmatic guide to making book clubs work in the classroom, Talking Texts is tough to beat.
Talking Texts will serve as a manual for teachers interested in encouraging and guiding self-selected reading but are uncertain where to begin. Lesley Roessing's teaching expertise and her extensive knowledge and suggestions of children and young adult literature provide the guidance teachers need to begin "text clubs" from the ground up. Talking Texts includes advice from social interaction protocols to assessment guidelines, as well as an incredible model unit in the concluding chapter.
There is no doubt that students light up when the prospect of a book club is mentioned in my classrooms; the bonus is having Lesley Roessing visit with them too! The book club ideas and models outlined in Talking Texts encourage students to invest in their reading choices and to build robust reading skills as educators learn practical ways to facilitate and guide the reading experience. Lesley inspires important classroom conversations, shared from a mutually respectful perspective, which allow us to gather meaningful insight about our readers.
Talking Texts is a must-read for all middle grades ELA and content teachers. Using the strategies and techniques offered in this book, I have been able to initiate book clubs in my media center, my school, and beyond! Lesley Roessing does an excellent job of defining the purpose of both book and text clubs as well as providing clear strategies for developing and maintaining such clubs. This text considers the needs of educators by providing useful tips that are easy to implement--from giving advice on book selection to providing lessons on the social skills students need to collaborate to outlining authentic and engaging assessment.