Book Talks and Conferencing

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Book Talks and Conferencing are essential tools to help students get engaged in the reading process.  While teachers across the country fight to get students to read even the simplest assignment, some teachers are helping students become better, more interested readers.  The first step to achieving that goal may be a “rule” by Danalyn Miller: “Not reading is not an option.”  That needs to be the stance taken in the classroom.  It’s also important, however, to find out why the reading is not happening.  In many, if not all cases, students have difficulty identifying and finding books they may be interested in reading. Book Talks and Conferencing are two approaches that can help students feel more comfortable talking about books, and potentially finding more interesting books to read.

According to Penny Kittle, author of Book Love, five book talks are essential for an effective book talk.  First, the teacher should hold the book while giving the book talk.  Next, the teacher needs to know the books, so they can discuss it.  Next, the teacher should read a short excerpt from the book.  Then, it’s essential to keep records of the books you talk about.  Finally, BE PASSIONATE!

While finding the time to conference with students is difficult, it can help students and teachers.  Teachers will learn more about what their students like and don’t like when selecting books.  It can help students guide those students to new books that may increase their interest level.  According to Kittle, some students have already pigeoned themselves into a “I’m not a good reader” mindset.  This is where it’s important to adapt a growth mindset.  It’s important to build student’s stamina in reading so they feel success.



3 thoughts on “Book Talks and Conferencing

  1. I am not a good reader. This statement is true. That doesn’t keep me from reading something interesting. I keeps me away from things that are boring. If I, or a student put forth precious reading effort it will be in a direction that is interesting, even if it is a challenge.


  2. I loved reading about Book Talks and how useful they can be. So great to see how many non-reading students they can reach! Being passionate is what can really turn these student’s minds around, and that is something to keep in mind. Great post!


    1. Thank you. Book talks can definitely help students find something to try. I have a list hung in my room of the books I have read since Christmas and the ones I plan to read before year end. The students are starting to check that out too.


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