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Lit circles
Old 03-17-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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I don't even know if I have the right term, but I want to do novel reading with my class after we finish our Frindle unit. I have three novels picked out (all on the revolutionary war - historical fiction). I have read two recently, and need to reread the third which I read long ago. The books are a bit different level and I want kids to choose which one to read, keeping groups to 4 or 5. Or is that too many kids? Should I find one more book to add? I am using Johnny Tremain, My Brother Sam is Dead, and The Fighting Ground. I have found online lists of discussion questions that I can refer to. I also have a site that gave me ideas for getting started and formatting. Now I am wondering about timing. I will let the groups decide what to read and by when, but what is a reasonable expectation? How often do the groups need to meet? I haven't found these answers, and truthfully, the amount of time I have to put forth to find it is dwindling as I still have to figure out math, history and science for the rest of the year.

Any help from experienced fifth grade teachers? Words of wisdom or advice in this endeavor? I seem to be learning everything as I go this first year in fifth. So much different than first!


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I would start by breaking
Old 03-17-2013, 11:32 AM
 
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down each novel to see how many pages could be reasonably read in a day (I calculate 2-3 minutes per page depending on the complexity of the vocabulary). Then you could tell how many class periods you would need.

I think 4 to 5 in a group is fine, especially if you're doing Lit Circles the traditional way - you'll want one person in for each job in a group. I would probably have them read for 4 days and complete their lit circle job and then meet on the 5th day.

My novel studies usually take 3 weeks, including a period for a quiz and a test. That said, I'm departmentalized and have 9 total periods in a week, so we read for more time than you probably have. If you have enough copies of the book for everyone to have their own, you can always assign reading for homework.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:00 AM
 
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Thank you for the response! I don't have as much class time, but they can certainly do it for homework. THey are excited, and so am I!
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This book was helpful to me...
Old 03-19-2013, 09:52 PM
 
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You might want to see if anyone on your staff or your local library has this book. It gave me a good foundation and some much needed confidence to get started. http://www.amazon.com/Literature-Cir...reading+groups
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Lit Circles
Old 04-29-2013, 07:38 PM
 
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I work in a fifth grade classroom as a graduate assistant. We do lit circles like this throughout the year that match up with our social studies curriculum. Our groups consisted of 7-9 students and we met for about thirty minutes on Monday-Thursday. Granted, we had the teacher and myself working with two of the three groups, so it was a bit easier to manage. Typically I would try to read a chapter a day and discuss before giving them a chapter to read at home. Whenever I gave my group homework, I would also give them a post-it note or a piece of paper with bullet points describing what we would talk about in lit circles the following day and vocabulary words that we would go over. The quizzes normally spanned about four or five chapters. I absolutely love lit circles! Hope yours are going/went well! : )


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