Monday, March 25, 2013

Grand Discussion Rules!

Last Thursday evening, Joyce and I gave up one of our favorite things, NCAA March Madness to host the second Grand Discussion of the year.  Since the book Rules by Cynthia Lord was our choice this time, we originally planned to do it before her visit.  However, middle school meetings and snow days got in the way and it had to be postponed to after her visit.

The turnout was good, 41 folks all together, but the thing that really excited us was the fact that there were more boys than girls, a Grand Discussion first!  We have been working to choose books that are appealing to all of our students, trying to get more boys and fathers involved in our little book group and the numbers have grown steadily over the years.  It was very satisfying to look out at 13 boys and 7 girls along with their parents for our final discussion of the school year.

As usual, the conversation was good and insightful.  I am always impressed by what good thinkers our kids are.  They surprise their parents many times and we are all reminded that we need to listen to these kids because I promise you, we, the adults, always learn something.

Since Cynthia visited us recently the kids really had a new take on her book, they knew things about its creation that their parents didn't.  I was very pleased to hear the conversations sprinkled with Cynthia Lord trivia that they learned from her presentations.  Just one more testament to the importance of exposing our children to talented authors and giving them an opportunity to hear the inside stories only the author can share.

At the conclusion, I realized once again that the Grand Discussion and Newbery Club are two of my favorite things about my job, both are fun interactive times with smart people.

1 comment:

  1. My colleagues and I have run several reading workshops for parents to introduce various reading comprehension/discussion aspects that would guide young readers and stimulate further interest and curiosity. However, we have never thought of including parents into the reading process at school where they would not necessarily be with their own children yet have an opportunity to explore and take away new approaches. Your activity has probably led to more interaction between children and parents through relaxed discussion where parents can "feel themselves kids" as well as children " can guide their moms and dads" as their teachers would do.

    Yes, it is amazing how thought-provoking and attention-grabbing students' comments and questions could be and how they could lead to inquiry.