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<3toTeach <3toTeach is offline
 
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Literature Circles HELP!
Old 09-01-2010, 12:29 PM
 
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Hello all! I am attempting to do literature circles in my class. At my school we team team and we split the whole team up based on reading level for guided reading. I teach the average group. We are going to do a whole group novel using Sounder. It has been a mess so far!! How do the rotations work? I have a class of 18, so I have 3 groups of 6. Do they meet with their group everday and read aloud with their group? Do they silent read, do their lit circle role, and then discuss when they meet with me. Any advise would be great! I'm about ready to just do another whole group novel, and trash the lit circles idea. But I really would like to do it!! H...E...L...P!!!


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Old 09-01-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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I would stick with the book - but maybe change the way you are approaching it.

I agree that 3 groups of 6 is good... what are you having them do exactly?

I have my groups do questions (printed from edhelper- lots of novels available), their lit circle job, in addition to the reading. We only meet once a week and they read the selection independently during DEAR time. On the other days, we do other reading/writing work. I might have them read a short leveled book that comes with the series in pairs or trios and do an activity with the book... I might use something from the basal, especially if it fits w/ ss or sci...we might study a genre, like tall tales or fairy tales, etc...

I need at least 20 minutes w/ each group when I meet with them so we can go over the questions together and share all the jobs.

If they have not done lit circles before, the kids need to be trained on how to do the jobs and what the expectations are. What I do, is do a class novel at the beginning of the year and teach them how to do each lit circle job as a class with that novel. Toward the end of the novel, I might break them into mock lit circle groups and conduct a meeting like I would in a regular lit circle so they can see how it goes.

For the next novel, I would allow some choice or do flexible groups... clearly you must have highly motivated kids and kids that are a little lower. I usually have 3 books going at once to appeal to interests and abilities.
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lit circles
Old 09-01-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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It takes me 3-4 weeks to teach all the roles to my kids and to get them book circle proficient. I use picture books to teach each role. We do one role as a whole class, I model, they practice, they then do it on their own with a short story read independently then the next day we meet with everyone doing the same role. We discuss how to share that role. We keep going like this until we've finished all the roles. Then we do a round of everyone with different roles still using a picture book so we're all on the same page. Once this is done. We do a whole class novel like you're doing for one round before moving to book circles with different books. One thing that helps is to not only teach the role but to also teach a social skill that is needed for the group along with the role.
As far as meeting, I've done it different ways. Some groups I've had read independently and then meet the next day followed by reading with a peer, and repeat this cycle. This worked well for groups that needed frequent check ins...every other day was really good for them and the meetings were pretty short.
Other times I've had them meet once a week, reading independently or in pairs during the week. If you're having trouble I'd suggest starting with the first way to get it under control and then move to less meetings as you progress. (I have had groups stay with the every other day schedule all year...it just worked for them.)
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Lit Circle
Old 09-01-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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I started lit circles last year and it definitely helped when I introduced each role individually. Once the students mastered a job, I would introduce another. By the second half of the year, students worked in groups and met once a week to discuss their jobs. Each person in the group had a different job. They had 20 minutes to meet and show their work. My jobs are Word Wizard, Correspondent, Illustrator, Letter Writer, Discussion Director.
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Laura Candler has great stuff on Lit. Circles
Old 09-01-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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http://www.lauracandler.com/strategi...blacklines.php


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Old 09-02-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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awesome website
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cluu777 cluu777 is offline
 
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Lit Circles
Old 09-02-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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I started Literature circles at the end of the year last year. I practiced all of the jobs together with the first book. Then by the end of the book they were in their own groups discussing them together. I cannot wait to get started again this year with the great class I have.

Thanks for the great website LoriVincent.
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<3toTeach <3toTeach is offline
 
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Thanks everyone!!
Old 09-03-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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I appreciate all of the advice! I'm going to stick with it!!
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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Just like Carolynn....
Make sure that you teach the roles explicitly. Also, be careful, lit circles can be a hidden way for students to do a lot of packet work. The key is that they are discussing the book, making connections, etc. I Meet with two groups per day, the other two/three are reading or preparing to meet with me. Facilitate, but dont take over the group and you will be amazed at their discussions and deep comprehension of the books. Also, I dont think I would ever have kids all in the same book for lit circles, It works best if the novel is student selected, with all novels having a common theme.

Just my humble opinion

Last edited by sassymollasi; 09-03-2010 at 11:13 PM.. Reason: spelling
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