Thursday, April 25, 2013

Social Issues Book Club Unit Reflection

To read my previous posts on our social issues unit, please click below. 

After each unit of study, I have students reflect on their learning during the unit and think about which strategies/skills they can transfer and use in the next unit.  Before beginning our historical fiction unit this week in reading workshop, I had students reflect on our social issues unit.  I have been modeling and teaching students how to reflect on their learning since the beginning of the year so they have begun to internalize the reflection process which is such an important life skill for them to have as learners.  

To begin, I wrote three reflective questions on chart paper: 
  • Which strategies did you learn in this unit that were helpful? 
  • How did book club conversations help you as a reader? 
  • Which strategies/skills can you transfer and use in our historical fiction unit? 

Then we discussed one question at a time and I modeled how I might answer the question as a reader and then students turned and talked to share their personal responses.  All of our teaching points and strategy examples are on charts right near our meeting area so they were able to refer to those as they turned and talked to share their reflections verbally.  After discussing each question and giving students a chance to see me model answering the question and having a chance to turn and talk with their book club, students went off to write their reflections in their reader's notebook.  Each student has a section in their notebook for reflections.
Below are some examples of students' reflections:

I'd love to hear other ways students reflect at the end of units in reading and writing workshop so please share! We began our historical fiction book club unit this week so I will be posting about that unit so stay tuned. :)


  1. I love the depth of thought that has occurred because of these guiding questions and level of conversation. I would love to launch our first reading unit with this type of book club. Which books did you use throughout this round of book clubs?

    1. Hi Micaela, Some of the books the book clubs chose to read were:
      Wonder, Pictures of Hollis Woods, How to Steal a Dog, Flying Solo, Touch Blue, Tangerine, Out of my Mind, Wringer, and more.
      Hope that helps!

    2. Hi Melanie,
      I usually have my students write reflections after each unit also. I particularly like the colorful notebook work that your students are doing as well as the evidence of their thinking as shown by the charts in their notebooks. I love your choice of book club books with Wonder, How to Steal a Dog, Touch Blue and Out of my Mind among my favorites. I was wondering how you have seen your students work grow as they have been more creative in their notebook work?

    3. Hi Mona! Their notebook work has definitely grown over the course of the year and are at the point now of creating their own charts and ways to jot down their ideas. They are experimenting with different charts, structures of note-taking, and are sharing their ideas with one another - I love to see them teach one another different strategies!