Joining the Book Club

What would you say if someone asked: "What’s your number one goal for your students?"

If you are like us (and a million other teachers), you might answer: "I just want my kids to become lifelong readers." This important question leads off Mini-Lessons in Literature Circles, a professional text written by Harvey Daniels and Nancy Steineke. Using their book as the backdrop, our team of skilled literacy coaches returns to Alief to answer the question posed by the authors: “What am I really doing to nature such lifelong readers?”

As educators return to work for the 2018-19 school year, Houston A+ Challenge and Alief Independent School District continue their long-standing relationship to discuss such questions, and collaborate on lessons and strategies for book clubs in classrooms.

Topics taught included, shopping for books and jotting notes for book choices; model lessons for making claims and citing evidence; and the use of bookmarks to instruct students inside book clubs (also known as literature circles or reading groups) to discuss the book they are reading together.

For information about hosting a professional workshop on your campus, contact

Tom Monaghan.

Resources from the sessions

July 31, 2018 | Middle School Teachers and Specialists

August 2, 2018 | English 1 Teachers and Specialists

Book Sample |

Conversation Starters | Bookmarks

Picture:  Jo Ann Williams and Kaleta Burruto hosted Susanna Fontenot and Erica Milson on Tuesday, July 31st and Thursday, August 2nd to ensure a smooth integration of books clubs into middle and high school classrooms this fall.

What to read more?

What’s the next big thing in Literature Circles? Harvey Daniels

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