Learning Circles

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Learning Circles

  1. 1. Literature Circles Tracy Hardwell Pearl Public School District
  2. 3. Literature Circles: <ul><li>Literature circles bring together two ideas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperative learning </li></ul></ul>
  3. 4. What are Literature Circles? <ul><li>Literature Circles are small, temporary discussion groups of students who are reading the same piece of literature. </li></ul>
  4. 5. What are Literature Circles? <ul><li>Literature circles give students an opportunity to work independently (reading and activities) and cooperatively (discussion groups) </li></ul>
  5. 6. What do students do in literature circles? <ul><li>Read independently or with their group </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in group discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Each group member will have a specific responsibility during discussion sessions </li></ul><ul><li>The circles will meet daily/weekly and the discussion roles change at each meeting </li></ul>
  6. 7. How do Literature Circles Work? <ul><li>Students all read the same text (in groups) </li></ul><ul><li>The text genre can vary (short story, novel, textbooks, brochures, internet documents) </li></ul><ul><li>Texts which evoke more than one interpretation or connection are usually more successful </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is free to offer comments and questions </li></ul>
  7. 8. Distinctive Features of Literature Circles: <ul><li>Students choose their own reading materials </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Small temporary groups are formed based on book choice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Different groups read different books </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Groups meet on a regular, predictable schedule to discuss their reading </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Students use written or drawn notes to guide their reading and discussion </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion topics come from students </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 9. Distinctive Features of Literature Circles: <ul><li>Group meetings are open, natural conversations about books </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students can play a rotating assortment of task roles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Teacher is a facilitator, not a group member or instructor </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation is by teacher observation and student self-evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>A spirit of playfulness and fun pervades the room </li></ul><ul><li>Readers share with their classmates when books are finished, then new groups form around new reading choices </li></ul>
  9. 10. Role of the Teacher <ul><li>The teacher is a model. The teacher speaks as one seeking insights. </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher helps students to participate in conversations </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher helps move the conversation forward </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher supports literary learning by supplying students with concepts and terms </li></ul>
  10. 11. Possible Discussion Roles: <ul><li>Artful Artist </li></ul><ul><li>Summarizer </li></ul><ul><li>Literary Luminary </li></ul><ul><li>Word Wizard </li></ul><ul><li>Connector </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion Leader </li></ul>
  11. 12. ILLUSTRATOR: Draw some kind of picture related to the reading—could be a sketch, cartoon, diagram, flow-chart, or stick-figure scene.
  12. 13. SUMMARIZER: Prepares a brief summary of “today’s reading” which conveys the main highlights or the key points in the pages read.
  13. 14. PASSAGE MASTER: points out interesting or important passages within the reading—could be interesting, powerful, funny, puzzling or important
  14. 15. WORD WIZARD: <ul><li>On the lookout for words in the text that are unusual, interesting, or difficult to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Defines and discusses these words with the group </li></ul>
  15. 16. CONNECTOR: finds connections between the reading material and the outside world—such as personal experience, school, community, a topic studied in another class, or a different work of literature
  16. 17. DISCUSSION DIRECTOR: <ul><li>Directs the discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Helps people talk over the big ideas in the reading and share their reactions (could be thoughts, feelings and concerns which arise) </li></ul><ul><li>Writes questions that will lead to discussion by the group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Questions must be higher level thinking questions!) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. What are higher level thinking questions? <ul><li>Questions that cannot be answered with just yes or no </li></ul><ul><li>Requires thought by each member of the group </li></ul>
  18. 19. Good Discussion Starters <ul><li>How did you feel about… </li></ul><ul><li>What would you have done if… </li></ul><ul><li>How are you like or unlike the main character? </li></ul>
  19. 20. Good Discussion Starters <ul><li>What would you have done differently than the main character? </li></ul><ul><li>What did you think about… </li></ul>
  20. 21. Suggestions for the roles: <ul><li>Teach each role to the whole class </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage student to ask questions from the perspective of their role </li></ul><ul><li>Choose only the most useful roles for a particular discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Rotate students through the roles </li></ul>
  21. 22. What should students do in the discussion groups? <ul><li>STUDENTS SHOULD: </li></ul><ul><li>Actively participate </li></ul><ul><li>Explain their role to the group, ask group members questions, and answer questions from each group member </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for clarification on any material that may have been confusing </li></ul>
  22. 23. How will class time be used? <ul><li>On literature circle day, the first 15-20 minutes will be spent in discussion groups to give the students the opportunity to share their job responsibilities with the group. </li></ul><ul><li>New jobs and reading assignments will be assigned for the next class meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Reading the text individually or as a group </li></ul><ul><li>Working on activities dealing with the text </li></ul>
  23. 24. How much time should be allowed for each book? It should take about 3-4 weeks for each book to be read
  24. 25. How are books chosen? Choices are nominated and students choose the order they want to read in
  25. 26. OUTCOMES By participating in Literature Circles, students will: <ul><li>Read a book of their choice with a group who has also chosen this book </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm with their group to identify questions they will answer while reading </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the book and work out a shared understanding of it </li></ul><ul><li>Pass on this understanding to the whole class group, therefore working through all the steps in the information skills process </li></ul>
  26. 27. To achieve these outcomes, the students will: <ul><li>Choose a book </li></ul><ul><li>Play a role in discussions of the book </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a diary in response to the book </li></ul><ul><li>Present as a group, a five minute response to the book or a project </li></ul>
  27. 28. How will students be graded? <ul><li>Students will be graded on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Having your job completed each day and being ready for discussion group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher evaluates by observation during discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final project/presentation when book is finished </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students evaluate their own progress at the end of the literature circle </li></ul></ul>
  28. 29. It is important for students to: <ul><li>Participate!! </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up with their reading assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up with their role in the group </li></ul><ul><li>Respect others and their opinions </li></ul><ul><li>Treat group members in a positive way—the way they want to be treated </li></ul>

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