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Current Issue Table of Contents | Back Issues

Volume 3 Number 6

Harry & Rosemary Wong remind us that, "The effective teacher is prepared"...
The Blueberry Story: The teacher gives the businessman a lesson byJamie Robert Vollmer
A LOOK AT . . . Getting Back to Basics by Alfie Kohn
We Have Achieved Education For All...Now We Seek Education for Each by Bill Page
Revisiting a "Fool's Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood" by Dr. Rob Reilly
Partner Book Talk Procedures -- Kindergarten Precursor to Literature Circles by Sandy Hamilton
How Teachers Can Benefit From School Choice by Robert Holland
The Tipping Point by Jay Davidson
Best Practice: Establish a "No Putdown Rule" in Your Classroom by Susan Gingras Fitzell
The Words We Use by Tom Drummond
Authoring an eBook in 10 Basic Steps! by Paul Jackson
Online Course with Leslie Bowman Aims to Break the Cycle of Bullying by Kathy Noll
Teaching Gayle to Read (Part 6) by Grace Vyduna-Haskins
Teaching Is A Full Time Profession
In Quebec Many Politicians Do Not See It This Way
by Dave Melanson
Volunteer Recognition Poems from: The Second Grade mailring
Teachers.Net Adds Chatboards for all U.S. States & D.C. from: The Editor
Homeschooling from: ERIC Clearinghouse
True Scientific Literacy for All Students by Stewart E Brekke
Index of Columns
Index of Regular Features
Index of Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

About Sandy Hamilton...
Sandy Hamilton is a kindergarten teacher in San Diego. She recently became a National Board Certified Teacher 2001. She enjoys teaching, reading and cruising the WWW especially Teachers.Net. Teaching must run in her blood because her daughter is also a teacher.

Teacher Feature...

Partner Book Talk Procedures
Kindergarten Precursor to Literature Circles

by Sandy Hamilton

Our Partner Book Talk is an extension of our Read Aloud with accountable talk. After the Read Aloud, sets of two children pick a basket of books from around the room. Book baskets are sorted by genre, author, current theme, reading level, topic etc. The chart we created using digital pictures of the students says:

  1. Pick a basket of books.
  2. Find a spot to sit. (Students are allowed to sit almost anywhere in the room.)
  3. Decide how the books are the same.
  4. Pick one book to "read." (They have to discuss, agree, and share one book)
  5. Read it, talk about it, and tell your partner what you already know. (About the topic, the author etc.)
  6. Use a small 6-inch voice.

When we finish Partner Book Talk they return the baskets and meet again at the carpet where they share what they discussed:

  • How their partner helped them understand the book/topic better, or
  • How the books were similar, or
  • How they found a certain element that we had been learning about (Table of contents, labels, speech bubbles etc.)

Many of these books are above their reading level so they are looking at pictures, discussing story lines, doing a picture walk, finding familiar sight words etc. Many are non-fiction books so they are discussing what they already know about the pictures. The focus is on talking about books not so much reading to your partner. This activity is a precursor to Literature Circles.

When we are teaching a feature of non-fiction the students might be asked to find that feature. For example, when we learned about the glossary they were asked to find information from the glossary. For this work I would give out specific sets of books, not let them just choose any basket.

If we had been discussing setting during our Read Aloud they would be looking for evidence of the setting in their book.

Another time we do Partner Book Talk is at the end of each week. I display all the books we read as a class that week. I ask them to think about which one was their favorite. I ask them to think about why they liked that book better than the other books. I ask them to think about what they could say to their partner that might convince them to pick the book you like. They turn and talk to their partner, telling them the title of their favorite book, the reason they liked that book, and why their partner should vote for that book too. Then we give children a turn to vote for their favorite book. We discuss the reason why they liked that book better and what they heard from their partner that might have changed their mind. We record our favorite book in our Reading Log. Then we compare this week's winning book to last week's book and vote again.