Third grade students at Metzler Elementary participate in Genius Hour four times per week. During this time, students pursue independent research activities, develop skills where they know they need more practice, and collaborate with others on their learning.
This year, the GT students in third grade have the unique opportunity to participate in digital book clubs. Teacher, Mrs. Courtney Schattle, developed the clubs for students across the grade level. Students work through Google Classroom to participate in activities that prepare them to read a new and complex text, and then collaborate and discuss their reading through online, digital, discussions.
For example, in order to prepare to read Dear Mr. Henshaw, students worked on independent research around topics related to the text, like California or child inventors. After they had read certain sections, students answered discussion questions posted by third grade teachers and had a chance to respond to each other. “This really gives students a chance to discuss with each other and build answers off of what others have to say. It adds a new level to the idea of book clubs because they have to be able to write out their answers and respond to what others say in a digital setting,” says Mrs. Schattle.
The third grade ELA team at Metzler has noticed that student’s engagement has increased with their online book clubs and that students hold each other accountable for appropriate and high quality discussions. Mrs. Schattle continued to say that these book clubs, “really personalize learning for our GT students and provide them with a way to practice social interactions and engagement as well as academic content.” The students really love their digital book clubs, student Kennedy Fraser says that book clubs, “make me want to read more so I can answer more questions and see what my classmates are saying about each part of the book. They helped me read books this year that I probably wouldn’t have chosen on my own.”
The third grade team can’t wait to start digital book clubs even earlier next year and bring personalized challenges to even more Metzler Huskies!
Book clubs make me want to read more so I can answer more questions and see what my classmates are saying about each part of the book. They helped me read books this year that I probably wouldn’t have chosen on my own.
GT Learner, Kennedy Fraser