Literature Circles in 4th grade

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by sillybebe, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. sillybebe

    sillybebe Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2010

    I am implementing literature circles in my classroom for the first time this year. I am looking for book suggestions for a first timer! :) I am going to be doing more of a structured circle the first few times. My school really does more guided reading than literature circles so I will be doing it only with my students who are at or above grade level. Does anyone have a great book to suggest to introduce the idea of literature circles to my students? Thank you!
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oct 22, 2010

    I would choose a novel that you have previously read. Sachar and Spinelli are great authors with many books that could be appropriate!
     
  4. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Oct 23, 2010

    Because of Winn Dixie
    Among the Hidden
    Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
    Love that Dog
     
  5. NC Teacher 4

    NC Teacher 4 Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2010

    Literature Circles

    I love literature circles. A few titles I'd suggest are Because of Winn-Dixie, any Magic Treehouse book, anything by Andrew Clements (No Talking, Frindle etc), any A to Z Mystery book by Ron Roy.

    As a side note: I'm not picking because I don't know you, but I wouldn't leave your lower level students out of Literature Circles. It is great for them also. When I start literature circles for the year, I use The Beast in Ms. Rooney's Room. It's a short, easy to read book that introduces students (ALL LEVELS) to literature circle roles.
     
  6. jenneke607

    jenneke607 Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2010

    After reading the book Moving Forward with Literature Circles (2002), I started preparing students for literature circles using picture books. We could all read the book together, either as a read aloud or shared reading, in a short time period, and then practice our norms for discussion. Some picture books I used included Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Big Ugly Monster and the Little Stone Rabbit (a compelling and somewhat provocative British children's book), and The Name Jar. Use anything that you think might inspire some discussion.

    Also: doing lit circles does not have to mean abandoning guided reading! My lit circle groups met either 1 or 2 times per week, and on other days they prepared, met with me for guided reading, or had a reading conference with me. We continued to follow our typical Readers' Workshop model on most days.

    -Jenn

    ETA: Oh! As I was looking up the title of Moving Forward with Lit Circles..., to make certain I had it correct, I see that one of the literacy specialists at my school wrote it! I had no idea! (Just transferred to a new school, and I am still getting to know everyone.) I will have to find her on Monday to tell her how much I loved her book.
     
  7. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    Oct 27, 2010

    I love Lit Circles! Unfortunately, we are doing Daily 5 and CAFE this year, and I just can't find the time to meet with strategy groups and lit circle groups and have individual conferences. I could spend all day teaching reading!

    I also recommend starting with picture books first. They are shorter, and it will get the students used to the role sheets. I have also started practicing role sheets with a read-aloud book as well. With each section, students practice a different role sheet. I have introduced mine with both Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. (I love Roald Dahl!) Typically when I do lit circles, I focus on a theme. I've done a dog theme with Sounder, Shiloh, The Good Dog (by Avi), and I, Jack. I have also done a Native American theme with Sign of the Beaver, Indian in the Cupboard, Morning Girl, Squanto. You could also do an author study, where the students read different books by the same author (Avi, Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, etc.)
     
  8. LoveLearning

    LoveLearning Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2011

    Question

     
  9. teach/reading

    teach/reading New Member

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    Sep 5, 2011

    Hi guys i am kinda new to this too and i was wondering if anyone had some ideas on the literature circles role sheets that were mentioned. Does anyone have any ideas?
     
  10. jenneke607

    jenneke607 Rookie

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    Sep 5, 2011

     
  11. jenneke607

    jenneke607 Rookie

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    Sep 5, 2011

    Check out some of the later books by Harvey Daniels (e.g. "Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action"), as he wrote one of the seminal texts on Lit Circles. From my cliff notes understanding, he still thinks the role sheets are okay as training wheels, but that they're not to be used long-term. They stifle discussion. I usually didn't have roles, but did lots of mini-lessons on asking good questions (prompts & probes to dig deeper). Personal preference, I suppose. The literature is worth reading in order to do lit circles well. I believe that great lit circles are inspiring and transformative, and bad lit circles are just a waste of time. (I also think I've had both occur in my classroom!)
     

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