Discussion Directors can use this handy packet to help them come up with high-level questions for group discussions. Frequently Asked Questions While he was still in the classroom, Brent received a lot of questions about how he ran his Literature Circles program. Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions, followed by his answers. Please understand these answers should not be considered "right" or the only way to run a Literature Circles program.
How do you group students? I group my students homogeneously. I am fortunate at my school to have access to the Scholastic Reading Inventory SRIa fantastic reading assessment that quickly and easily measures students' reading comprehension.
Using SRI scores, called Lexiles, as well as other classroom assessments as a guide, I place students in groups with readers at similar reading levels.
I also try, whenever possible, to create boys- and girls-only groups. I don't do this Are literature circle effective the curriculum, but over the years I've found that students tend to open up more in their book-based discussions when they are surrounded by others of the same gender.
Do students stay in the same groups all year?
That being said, I have found that over the course of a school year, everybody improves, not just one or two students. As one student develops, so do the rest. In short, most groups grow together, making it possible to keep them intact.
Do students select their own books or do you assign them? Although I approve their selections to ensure that the books are at an appropriate reading level, groups choose their own books. When students are first introduced to the Literature Circles program, they are given a list of all the books available click here to see the list.
Next to each title on the list is the book's Lexile level. By comparing a book's level to the Lexile levels of the students in the group, students can quickly and easily find an appropriate selection.
It's important to note that when making book selections, the books' Lexile levels are used as a guideline, not a rigid rule. I do occasionally recommend books for my students that don't exactly "match" in terms of the students' and books' Lexile levels.
I have encountered books whose assigned Lexiles, when compared to my experience with the books, don't seem quite accurate.
Popper's Penguins has a Lexile ofputting it at a high 5th grade level. I have found, however, this book to be perfect for some of my struggling 5th grade readers. In fact, when I taught 4th grade, I used this book as a core novel for my entire class.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, if your experience leads you to believe a book may be a good match for your students, despite the lack of an apparent match between the Lexile level of the book and students, don't be afraid to give it a try.
The students will know within a chapter or two if the book is too hard or too easy. How long does it take for a group to finish a book? It depends on the group and on the book being read. A shorter book may be finished by a high-level group in only a week or two, or a longer book may require a month by students reading at a slower pace.
How are "jobs" assigned? Each student has what we call a "job wheel. Circle job here are the uncut job wheels I use for 4-person and 5-person groups.
This piece of paper is then attached to a small square piece of construction paper by pushing a small brass brad through the center of both sheets of paper. By drawing an arrow at the top of the construction paper and rotating the wheel, students are able to determine, on their own, what jobs they are responsible to complete.
Students keep track of their jobs, reading assignments, and due dates on a Literature Circles Assignment Sheet. How do you grade students' jobs?Teacher Jennifer McFarland's classroom Web page includes examples of literature-circle projects.
ashio-midori.com includes reviews of books that work well in literature circles. Alexandra R. Moses is a freelance writer in the Washington, DC, area who specializes in education. Literature Circles is an exciting reading program that allows students to take control of their own learning.
In this program, the class is divided into reading groups, with each group consisting of . Literature circles are a strong classroom strategy because of the way that they couple collaborative learning with student-centered inquiry.
As they conclude their description of the use of literature circles in a bilingual classroom, Peralta-Nash and Dutch explain the ways that the strategy helped students become stronger readers.
“Literature circles are effective for team building abilities, discussion skills, and reading comprehension ” (Matt) Even though staying on task is one of the tricky parts of literature circles, they truly are helpful.
Several of Janine King's sixth graders had participated in literature circles the year before. She used a common cooperative learning technique -- a "fishbowl" -- to . Perhaps what makes the literature circle such an effective teaching approach is that it's highly adaptable.
"I learned early on that there are as many ways of structuring literature circles effectively as there are teachers and students eager to try," Noe told Education World.