Reading Schedule and Meeting Agendas

A predictable structure will help make your book club successful. You can adjust the reading schedule,  number of meetings and length of meetings to fit your needs. One structure is five 30 minute meetings.

Reading Schedule

Meeting 1*: Chapter 1 (Do not need to read prior to the first meeting.)

Meeting 2: Chapter 2

Meeting 3: Chapters 3-4

Meeting 4: Chapters 5-6

Meeting 5: Chapter 7

*You may want to consider hosting the first meeting during a whole staff meeting. People may be more likely to sign up for the book club once they have dipped into the book. Teachers can access the first chapter of the book at the Stenhouse website. Once you go to the book page on Stenhouse, you can click on an image of the book to access the free preview. This book is not content-specific.

Meeting Agendas

In the resources section, you will find five meeting agendas. They each follow a predictable structure.

Getting Warmed Up for Discussion

  • To kick off the meeting, invite participants to read a section or watch a video to prepare for discussion. Some participants will not have read the book, while others may have forgotten what they read. This provides an opportunity for everyone to be on the same page. (Read the article “Some Study Group Participants Aren’t Reading the Book” by Brenda Power. It is linked below.)
  • Giving participants an opportunity to reflect in writing is another way to help warm them up for discussion. Each session offers ways for participants to respond. Set your timer and give space for a written reflection.
  • Finally, give time for participants to select something they would like to discuss. Have sticky notes available so they can mark the page. Even if someone didn’t read ahead of time, the book is full of figures and pull out quotes to make it easy to find an idea to discuss.

Discussion

  • There are suggested protocols for discussion time. Although your group may not need the protocols, it is a nice way to experience a structure they may use with their students.
  • Don’t miss the article by Jen Allen about powerful endings to meetings. It is linked below.

Closure

  • Each meeting ends with participants committing to an idea or strategy to try with their students.
  • The final closure to book club is powerful. Don’t skip it!

Making Study Group Special

It is likely optional for teachers to join your book club. Consider ways to make it special. Jen Allen shares ways she gives small gifts to study group participants in a video linked below. Heather Fisher’s article “Takeout Book Club” is also linked below.


Resources
Resource Five Meeting Agendas for Why Do I Have to Read This? Book Club Download
Articles
Some Study Group Participants Aren’t Reading the Book

Have you ever experienced the strange phenomenon of having colleagues show up for book study groups and gab away, even though they haven't read the text? You may be a victim of "bullcrit"—the willingness of some people to critique movies they haven't seen, music they haven't heard, and books they haven't read. Cross-posted at Choice Literacy.

The Secret to Better Meetings: It’s All in the Ending

Jennifer Allen shares her favorite ending for meetings that leaves participants hungry for more.

Takeout Book Club

Teachers may not have time for one more meeting—but they still have to eat! Heather Fisher combines the fun of lunch takeout with book discussions to boost interest and attendance.

Videos

Study Group Gifts

Jennifer Allen explains why she always budgets for small study-group gifts, and shares how they build connections between the groups and teaching practice.

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