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Curriculum Details for
Spaghetti Book Club

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Program
Description
Practitioner Expert
Review
Content Expert
Review
Spaghetti Book Club
Publication Date: 1999
Grade Level: K–8
Content Focus: Literacy/Language Arts
Costs: $150 for 10 reviews (trial only), $220 for 20, $500 for 50 and $900 for 100 reviews.
The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.
Developer Contact Information
Spaghetti Book Club
606 Post Road East, Suite 715
Westport, CT 06880
(203) 226-1010
www.spaghettibookclub.org/membership/aft
erschool.html

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Design Summary

Spaghetti Book Club is appropriate for both the school day and afterschool.  The primary goal of this curriculum is to help students develop critical literacy skills through reading, discussion, summarizing, and expressing opinions. Students work toward publishing reviews of books on the Internet along with their personal artwork.  Curriculum components include lesson plans, online training and support, publishing criteria for reviews, and access to online content on the Spaghetti Book Club website.

Students work in groups and individually writing reviews. This encourages social growth and teamwork.  The curriculum also encourages cognitive growth as it generates student opinions and connections to the books.  The end goal of publishing on the Internet is motivating, and fosters a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work.

Costs and Staff Training

Spaghetti Book Club offers memberships based on the number of reviews submitted. Costs are: $150 for 10 reviews (trial only), $220 for 20 reviews, $500 for 50 reviews and $900 for 100 reviews. There is a one-time registration fee of $50.

Spaghetti Book Club provides telephone-based training to all new members. Fees for training are included in a one-time registration fee. Telephone and email-based support is also available to all members.

Staff Qualifications

Instructors are not required to have formal teaching experience, but they should be familiar with the writing process and basic reading and writing development.  They also need to be comfortable with technology, especially word processing, Internet, and using scanners. Practitioner and content expert reviews support this, and content expert reviews also suggest that instructors be very organized, since students will work at their own pace and there are a number of steps to ensure that reviews can actually be published.

Standards Alignment

  • National: Meets six of the 15 English Language Arts Standards found in The New Performance Standards (National Center on Education and the University of Pittsburgh).
  • State: New York City and New York State.

Research Base

None specified.

Evaluation Details

This curriculum has no formal evaluation, but the developers do have pre-post questions that are used at each site to determine what kids know about books, components of literacy and publishing, and their general level of experience in this area. Information from these are available on the Spaghetti Book Club website: http://www.spaghettibookclub.org.

Overall Strengths/Overall Challenges

Strengths
  • Gives students the opportunity to publish their writing in a more public forum.
  • Can give students a sense of meaning to their work.  Internet publication seems to be motivating for students.
  • Teachers can create a class website without starting from scratch.
  • Students become members of a safe and structured online community.
  • Complete connection with literacy, both reading and writing.
  • Structure teaches students to work independently.
  • Breaks the end goal down into smaller tasks for the students.
Challenges
  • Curriculum depends on having easy computer and Internet access.
  • Entering work on computer can be time consuming for a group that has few computers or students who are not skilled typists. 
  • Teacher needs to be organized and plan ahead, or could become overwhelmed with keeping track of student materials and preparing for publication.


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