Book Talks!

Class began the usual way. The Welcome Activity today asked students to evaluate the paragraph below to determine whether or not this student included all five parts of RACER.

Question: In Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon, what grabbed your attention about the first chapter?

The fact that Cory saw a man really grabbed my attention. According to the author, “And I saw a figure standing in the woods across the road. Just standing there, wearing a long dark coat. Its folds moved with the wind…I shivered a little, bone cold, and then I blinked a couple of times and where the figure had been was just windswept woods again.” While the dad is swimming to save the person in the car, Cory looks up and sees this. It is creepy because the reader isn’t sure of a few things. First of all, was there really someone there? If there was someone there, did he see Corey? Is he going to come after him? All of these questions swirled in my head and made me want to read on. To sum up, the fact that Cory saw a man during this first chapter really grabbed my attention.

After reading, we talked about how the author doesn’t completely RESTATE the question in the first sentence because there are so many details missing (like the title and author). Also, the author does include a piece of evidence, but he/she doesn’t have the author’s name and page number at the end of it, so he/she would only earn half credit there.

After going over the WA and talking about tomorrow’s schedule, we moved into Notebook Thinking. Students who volunteered yesterday to go for Book Talks used this time to plan and/or practice. Everyone else listened to a story for the NBT prompt today, and then they had time to write.

Before Book Talkers got started, I went over those key components of a Book Talk again, and I explained what the expectations of the audience is. I should be able to visually see that the audience is listening, so that means good body language is key.

Next, all volunteer Book Talkers went, and everyone did an excellent job! Especially for it being the first time. Those students were super brave to volunteer to go first. 🙂

Class closed with students picking up the assignment below. They had time to read over it, and I answered any questions students had. This is the first read writing assignment of the year, so it is an opportunity for students to show me what skills they have. Also, it is super fun to get it back on the last day of school!

A Letter to Me, 180 Days WiserParts of a Letter

Students will have work time on the letters tomorrow, so it isn’t homework to get started; however, if a student wanted to get a head start, they are more than welcome to.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Letters are due on TUESDAY.