Saturday, July 4, 2009

July Book Club Kickoff!

A couple of weeks ago, I floated the idea of a summer book club for readers. Here are the results:
Would you participate in a teaching/education themed online book club this summer organized by Mr. D?

Depends on the books (48%, 34 votes)
Yes (32%, 23 votes)
No (12%, 9 votes)
Not sure, I have questions (5%, 4 votes)
I'm so excited to see these positive results and announce that we will indeed kickoff our book club for this month right now!

Our first book is the same one I mentioned in my post last month: Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh by Gerald Grant. I picked this particular title because it deals with the big picture, so it's something that will get those of us who focus so intently on our own classrooms to take a step back and gain some perspective.

As far as discussions and activities, we will keep things as simple and stress-free as possible:

First, get a copy of the book. It is new and available only in hardcover--I recommend checking your local library before purchasing a new or used copy. Amazon has some discounted copies available, and your purchases through my links to the book do help support this blog. You can of course find other online sellers via Google, or visit your local independent bookstore.

Secondly, start reading! I won't give you any leading questions; let's let those develop organically. As you read, I encourage you to share whatever ideas and questions pop up along the way in the comments section of this post. In the interest of quality over quantity, I would like to give you a full three weeks to read the book; try to finish reading by Friday, July 24th.

Finally, we will "meet" and discuss the book over several days instead of one. I will open the floor up for guest posts, links to reviews and reactions on your own blogs, and solicit your thoughts starting on Saturday, July 25th. You can participate in as much or as little of the various forms of discussion, as long as your participate in something! I am leaving this part intentionally vague so we can get the most out of reading the book by engaging each of you the way that's most beneficial and interesting to you. I will be drawing from years of being on both the giving and receiving end of professional development, but I am very open to ideas and suggestions about what you'd like the book club to look like in the end.

You might also consider telling us that you're participating and a little about yourself in the comments below (completely optional). I can't wait to get started! Get the book today:

Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh by Gerald Grant