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Teacher82 Teacher82 is offline
 
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How to implement Lit Circles
Old 07-09-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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I've skimmed books, but I can't make heads or tails of roles, etc and how to organize it, what books to use, how to schedule it, how to meet with groups and keep up with what is going on in each group,etc... I've not been too good with small groups in my few years of teaching. I would really like to implement this in my classroom next year, but I need to know where to start. Any help? Thanks!


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literature circle
Old 07-09-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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Try literature Circles by Harvey Daniels.
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me too!
Old 07-09-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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I've had the same problem in the past. What I came up with is to just have the children do a final project that presents the book to the class -- like a commercial for the book. Then I grade individually either cornel notes or some other type of personal response. Your children will love doing lit circles!
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Lit Circles
Old 07-09-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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I have done lit circles for the past 5 years and love them. I think the biggest thing is to model it for the first few weeks. Last year I did an entire novel as a class and then after that started the individual groups. They knew exactly what to do after that. I have included how I described lit circles to my parents in my classroom handbook below. I hope it helps you out!

How do they work?
First of all children need to be taught how to work
in a Literature Circle and that is done during the
first weeks of school with teacher modeling. I
work with the children and set very clear
expectations on how the groups will be run. Later,
the children will be divided into groups and
assigned a novel to read as part of a group. The
group reads aloud together for two days, stopping
to discuss and ask questions along the way. On
the day of the third meeting, the children are each
assigned a job.

They fill out the job form for the section of the book they have just read and then will come together and discuss the book using the job forms as a guide. Everyone is expected to talk in low voices, participate, and agree to disagree. As a teacher, I do not run the groups, but instead act as a facilitator, helping the group as needed and posing questions or points that they might have missed. The children will then score each other on a 10 point scale at the end of the discussion and the score will be counted as a reading participation grade. The students will have 3 Ė 5 discussions per novel, depending on the length of the story. After they finish the book, they will have one final discussion over the entire novel and then take a 10 question test on the book, each question being worth 10 points. Typically children have done well without taking the book home to review, however a child can sign out a Literature Circle book from me at any time if they wish to. Working well in the group setting and staying focused is key to their success on the final test.

What are the discussion jobs?
The following are the descriptions for the jobs the children are responsible for. Each student is responsible for writing on only one job, but actively participating in the discussion for all of the jobs. Children will be assigned different roles in the weeks that follow.

Artful Artist
You are responsible for drawing a picture that relates to the meaning of the story. It can be a sketch, cartoon, diagram, or flow chart. When you finish, write a paragraph on a separate sheet of paper that explains your drawing. Donít tell what your drawing is. Let each person describe what they see and how they think it is related to the story. Do not tell or comment about your picture until everyone has had a chance to talk about it.

Discussion Director
You are responsible for writing a list of questions that your group can discuss about the book. Please do not ask questions that can be answered in one or two words (that will not be a discussion). You want your group to talk about the big ideas in the story and have people share their reactions. You are also in charge of calling on other members of the group to share what they did for their jobs and to keep the discussion moving. Everyone should answer and talk about each otherís answers. It is perfectly all right to agree to disagree about something


Capable Connector
Your job is to write about what the story reminds you of in:
your life or a similar problem you have faced
the outside world
happenings at school or home
other people you know about
other stories you have read by the same or a different author
places you are reminded of

Word Wizard
You are responsible for finding important words in the reading to talk about with your group. Choose words that are
hard different strange
exciting important funny
new interesting

Literary Luminary
You are responsible for finding some special sections of the text that you would like to share with your group. You decide which passages or paragraphs you would like to hear and decide if you would like to read them aloud, ask someone else to read them, or read silently and then discuss. Find things that are

interesting informative scary important
surprising confusing funny well written


Travel Tracer
You are responsible for keeping track of the characters and setting in your story. Characters often move around a lot and the scene changes, it is important for everyone in your group to know where things are happening and how the setting may have changed. You need to describe each setting in detail and give the page number where it has been described.


Character Captain
As the Character Captain, it is your job to share observations you have about the main character(s). Select three adjectives that describe one or more of the characters in your novel, and support your selection with an example taken from your reading assignment
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lit circles
Old 07-10-2008, 03:16 AM
 
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Wow! angelangst did a superb job of describing lit circles and how they work.

Here are a couple of other things to consider:

1. To get your feet wet, after modeling as a whole group, start with just one lit circle group. I would recommend a higher level, students who may be self starters and who may work well together. then add in other groups as you (and they) are feeling comfortable.

Each time they meet , check in to see how they feel it's going. Was everyone prepared? Did everyone listen to each other?

2. Our county office has videos for lend and I know there are some showing lit circles in action. One is from the Strategies That Work series. Maybe ask around??

3. Are other teachers in your building implementing them? Maybe you could observe.

You're right, seeing something in action really helps a lot


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Website
Old 07-10-2008, 09:33 AM
 
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Have you visited Laura Candler's site? She has TONS of info about lit circles there! It might help some. I think I am still too new to PT to be able to include links, but I believe her site adress is lauracandler dot com.
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One more thing..
Old 07-10-2008, 09:37 AM
 
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I forgot to mention that once you get to her home page, click on File Cabinet. From there, click on Literary Lessons. On that page you can click on Literature Circles. That is where you will find all of her info!!
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Wow
Old 07-13-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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I, too, was wondering how to manage Lit Circles. I really want to implement this year I just didn't know how to. There is some great and useless information here. Thanks all!
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Here's the link to Laura Candler's site:
Old 07-13-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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http://www.lcandler.web.aplus.net/litcircles.htm
I have used Literature Circles for 2 years by using ideas from this web site. My students love them!
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Mammoo...
Old 07-14-2008, 06:56 AM
 
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Thanks for posting the link! When I did my post about her site, I was still a new member and couldn't post links!! Don't you just LOVE her site! It is fabulous!!


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Literaturecircles.com
Old 07-14-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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is also another great resource.
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