Literature Circles

Discussion in 'General Education' started by smalltowngal, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Mar 17, 2009

    I'm not in the classroom...YET! But when I do get back in, I want to implement literature circles in my room. If you do literature circles, how are they organized? Do you have one novel for the whole class or do you have different groups with different novels? And what role do you have during literature circles?

    TIA!
     
  2.  
  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Mar 17, 2009

    When I have implemented literature circles I have used different novels for each groups. Sometimes I let the students choose which book they'll read, other times I choose. Each student is responsible for keeping up with their reading, completing a role sheet before each group meeting and sharing it with the group. My role (once all of the organization is done) is circulating between the groups and listening in on their discussions. I try to take on the role of observer, as I don't want them to depend on me to lead the discussion. This is difficult at first, and some groups always need more guidance than others, but some groups get very good at carrying on as if I wasn't there. I do meet with each group once a week to check in with them and to lead them in some deeper discussion.
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,376
    Likes Received:
    808

    Mar 17, 2009

    I always choose 4 chapter books, and let the students make a 1st and 2nd choice so no group is overcrowded (it can't be since I only have a certain number of copies of each book.)

    One very important thing though -- make sure you "guide" struggling readers into books they can actually read -- otherwise all of your choices have to be made based on your lowest reader, and that is NOT the way to do it. Also, make sure each group has somebody you know can take over the leadership role if the "democratic" method doesn't work. In other words, don't let a whole group of "argue-ers" in one group. Split them up if necessary. If you have 1st and 2nd choice with you making the final decision, you can make sure the groups come out well-rounded and with no child reading abook so far about his/her head that he/she can't keep up.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Mar 17, 2009

    Thanks! Rain, I was going to allow the students to choose based on 2-3 chapter books. I would never have thought to make the final choice based on their choices. Thanks for that idea!
     
  6. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 17, 2009

    I choose different books around a theme or guiding question. This way all groups are adding back into the whole group discussion around the theme. I allow student to provide input into what books they would like by having a preview time. Students get a few minutes to read a few pages in each book and rate it for how easily they could read it, summarize what happened in those few pages, and answer a higher level question I made up about it. At the end, students they rank each for their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., choices. I make it clear to students this is input into their books.

    At the start of the year, I have a few students who choose not to take seriously the preview time and end up in a book they did not want or like, but after that first one, they take it seriously.
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    Mar 17, 2009

    I usually have 4 or 5 different groups, each with its own book. I set out books of my choosing for them to look at. They tell me which they'd like and I make the final decision.

    I don't do strict roles like you see outlined in some literature circle guides. I give a 5 minute mini-lesson, let them meet for 10 minutes to discuss, then they either read silently, or fill out literature circle reflection sheets. They keep a reader response journal going and write in it every day after they read.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Mandy Habel Ramsey
Total: 229 (members: 5, guests: 190, robots: 34)
test