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Managing Your Reading Club Time

Last updated Saturday, December 3, 2005

Preparation is the key to effectively using the 80-90 minutes you will have for the reading clubs. You and your reading partner should use the time from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. to prepare a game plan (Reading Club Plan) to know where you need to be at what time in order to accomplish all you want to in your reading club. You should also anticipate potential situations and plan for contingencies--"What will we do if the book is short?" or "What should we do if we sense that we are losing their attention?" for example.

Your Reading Club Plan should include the following elements:

Key Times to Keep in Mind
• Begin reading by 10:15.
• Begin craft time by 11:00.
• Start clean up by 11:25.
Sample Reading Club Plan
for Kindergarten
(can be adapted for other grades)
10:05 Introductions. Ask them their favorite game to play.
10:15 Reading, lots of vocabulary words. Point out possible new words.
10:35 Break for "Simon Says."
10:50 Craft time--the book is short and crafts may take more time.
11:20 Begin to clean up and distribute prize books. Start putting away unneeded supplies by 11:15.
Note: Have fun at all times!


 •  Introduce yourselves (name, occupation, birthplace, etc.).
 •  Ask students about themselves (their names, number of times at reading club, element from readings--during Halloween, "What are you going to be?").
 •  Complete name tags for the kids. For younger readers, you may want to do this for them to move things along.

Shared Reading

 •  Use the Shared Reading format to read the book.
 •  As needed, take breaks in the reading to maintain the kids' attention and keep them from getting too antsy.
 •  Use information from the What to Expect from Each Grade Level article to anticipate your grade's attention span. Good break activities include simple calisthenics like jumping jacks; a quick game of Simon Says or Duck, Duck, Goose; or an animated song like "The Hokey Pokey."

Craft and Activity Time

 •  Lead the kids in developing a craft. Be creative! Look for craft suggestions on the book information page for your grade.
 •  Engage the kids in conversation during craft time. Try to draw out shyer members of the reading club. This is a good opportunity for some of them to practice their English. Ask about their family, pets, hobbies, favorite activities, etc.

Prize Book Distribution

 •  Distribute one prize book to each child. (Return leftover books to the auditorium.)
 •  Plan in advance a distribution method that will minimize contention among the kids about who gets what book. You can use a random method (order determined by choosing numbers out of a hat). You can also consider merit--kids can earn the right to choose first by answering questions about the book, for example.

Clean Up

 •  Leave the classroom exactly as you found it. Return furniture to original locations.
 •  Don't wait to clean it all up at once. Have children pick up and clean up as they finish their crafts while you begin to organize the group for departure.
 •  Remove the kids' nametags.