Today in class, we did a book review. I asked our librarian, the most honorable Martha Black ( she is a life-saver), to pull enough books for all of my classes. She pulled 84 books. To start the book review, each student chose a book and read for three minutes. After reading, if the student wanted to keep the book to read more, they didn't have to pass the book back to the next student, but if they wanted to check out more books, they passed their book back and got another book from the student sitting in front of them. This worked beautifully because my first block class didn't want to pass the books. All but three students kept their book to continue reading. The second block class wanted to work in teams, so for teamwork, they read the back covers and briefly read the first two pages. Then, when time was up, they discussed the books, decided if they wanted to keep the book, to trade, or to pass. Several enjoyed talking about the books. I didn't use technology with this activity, but I think it would work well to have an "online book talk" so the kids could add discussions on my wiki or I could create a blog for them to discuss the book they are reading.
I think this would benefit the students because it would make them somewhat accountable for actually reading the book and making a good discussion about it. They would know all the other students are reading what they say, so hopefully this would encourage them to use correct grammar and be serious with their contributions. It would be great if other students from various schools would comment and discuss the same books being read.