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Guest Thinkers

CASTLE Summer Book Club – Update 1

We’re down to two weeks before the 2009 CASTLE Summer Book Club starts and we’ve got 81 participants signed up already. That’s great!

We will be reading Why Don’t Students Like School? by Dr. Daniel Willingham. I’m still deciding what online platform we’re going to use to facilitate our discussions. Last year we used Lefora. It worked pretty well but so far I’m leaning toward something different this year.

Here are some answers to a few questions that people have asked me:

  1. Will our conversations occur on specific dates or at specific times? No, our discussion will be completely asynchronous. We don’t care when you participate. Whatever’s most convenient for you.
  2. What are the expectations regarding participation? We ask that you don’t sign up if you’re not committed to being fully engaged in the entire 5 weeks of discussion. That means that you’re keeping up with the reading (no more than 40 pages each week), visiting our discussion space at least several times a week, and participating rather than lurking.
  3. What happens if I change my mind or need to drop out? Well, this is all self-organized and voluntary so there’s not much we can do about it. We lost participants last year because they didn’t like the book, their summer schedule changed, they couldn’t get into the online discussion format, etc. No worries. It’s your life! That said, we hope most of you will make it to the end (it’s only 5 weeks!).
  4. Should I participate if I’m not a K-12 educator? Maybe. We’re surely not going to kick you out and probably will benefit from your different perspective. It depends on how much you’re interested in how people learn and what that means for cognitively-appropriate teaching practice in K-12 classrooms.
  5. Will our discussions be private? Nope. So be thoughtful as you write, particularly if you’re discussing people you know or the organization in which you work.
  6. What’s our reading schedule again? You can find that and other information (including how to sign up!) at my original post announcing the book club.
  7. Got other questions that aren’t answered here? Leave a comment below or drop me a note; I’ll do my best to answer them quickly.


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