Literature circles trial

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an explanation of what literature circles are and how they can be implemented in the classroom

an explanation of what literature circles are and how they can be implemented in the classroom

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  • Based on Schlick

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  • 1.
    • Welcome to the literacy circle trial.
    • The purpose of this powerpoint is to familiarise you with what literature circles are and how you can use them in your class.
  • 2.
    • It will take a few minutes to go through this presentation, so find a quiet place, grab a
    • glass of water, coffee, tea or
    • maybe even a……….. !
  • 3.
    • Ok - here goes…..
  • 4. What are literature circles?
  • 5. There are as many different ways of doing literature circles as there are books.
  • 6.
    • However, there are some elements that literature circles all have in common….
    • They all involve…
  • 7.
    • a small group of students reading the same novel
    • the students having some say in the choice of the novel
    • student led discussions about aspects of the book
    • a response of some sort once reading is completed
  • 8.
    • Literature Circles are . . .
    • Reader response centred
    • Part of a balanced literacy programme
    • Groups formed by book choice
    • Structured for student independence, responsibility, and ownership
    • Guided primarily by student insights and questions
    • Intended as a context in which to apply reading and writing skills
    • Flexible and fluid; never look the same twice
    • Literature Circles are not . . .
    • Teacher and text centered
    • The entire reading curriculum
    • Teacher-assigned groups formed solely by ability
    • Unstructured, uncontrolled "talk time" without accountability
    • Guided primarily by teacher- or curriculum-based questions
    • Intended as a place to do skills work
    • Tied to a prescriptive "recipe’
    • From Getting Started with Literature Circles by Katherine L. Schlick Noe & Nancy J. Johnson © 1999 Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.
  • 9.
    • Why include literature circles as part of your reading programme?
  • 10.
    • Promote a love for literature and positive attitudes towards reading
    • Reflects a constructivist, child-centered model of literacy
    • Encourages extensive and intensive reading
    • Invites natural discussions that lead to student inquiry and critical thinking
    • Supports diverse response to texts
    • Fosters interaction and collaboration
    • Provides choice and encourage responsibility
    • Exposes children to literature from multiple perspectives
    • Nurtures reflection and self-evaluation.
    •  
    • Getting Started with Literature Circles Katherine L. Schlick Noe & Nancy J. Johnson.
    • © 1999 Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.
  • 11.
    • According to Harvey Daniels, literature circles provide :
    • 1. A balance between teacher-guided and self-directed reading
    • 2. A balance between wide and close reading.
    • 3. A balance in the kind of social interaction students experience around books
    •  
    •  
  • 12.
    • Literature circles fit into a comprehensive literacy programme as one way for students to apply what they are learning about reading and writing.
    • Getting Started with Literature Circles Katherine L. Schlick Noe & Nancy J. Johnson.
    • © 1999 Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.
  • 13.
    • So let’s get started
    • Some practical questions…..
  • 14.
    • How many students in a group?
    • An optimum number is 4-6 students
  • 15. How are the groups chosen?
    • Student book choice (kids make 1 st choice, 2 nd choice, 3 rd choice, then vote)
    • Students ability to work with others who have chosen that particular book
    • Students reading level
    • Whether you have enough copies of the books you are considering
  • 16.
    • For the purposes of this trial, it is probably easier to work with your top reading group.
    • If you have more than 6 students in the group, it may be better to split them into 2 groups.
  • 17.
    • What books can be offered?
    • At this stage we will have to use books that your school already has enough copies of (novel sets)
    • If the kids can have a choice of 2/3/4 novels that’s great if not, don’t worry about it at the moment.
  • 18. In order for you to able to monitor what’s happening in the literature circle you will need to read the book first!!!! Even if you keep a chapter ahead of the kids it will help. (at the very least, read a reliable review.)
  • 19.
    • If you have more than one book to offer the group, use part of the first session to give brief ‘book talks’ about the books in order that the kids can choose one book that appeals to them.
  • 20.
    • Before you start you start lit circles
    It’s a good idea to set some expectations.
  • 21.
    • Have the kids brainstorm the kinds of behaviour that would be approropriate in a group discussion about a book.
  • 22.
    • This could be also be achieved by having the kids create a Y chart
    A good discussion…
  • 23.
    • After the group has brainstormed the elements of a good discussion, you may want to use the following sheet to help review/add to what they have come up with.
  • 24.  
  • 25.
    • A copy of the elements of a good discussion sheet is in the getting started section of the downloads page.
  • 26.
    • Some suggestions for ways to speak to others
    • Excuse me . . . 
    • I'd like to add . . .
    • I disagree because. . .
    • I agree because . . .
    • I ‘m not sure what you mean……
    • I'm confused about . …..
    • According to page ……...
  • 27.
    • If you want to read a bit more about setting up the management of literature circles
    • this link.
    • http:// www.litcircles.org/Discussion/teaching.html
    • It has some really good practical advice
    • An example of a section of it follows…..
  • 28.  
  • 29.
    • Student roles in literature circles
  • 30.
    • To support the students into the literature circle model, it can be helpful to assign each student a different role within the literature circle.
    • Some examples follow……
  • 31.  
  • 32.
    • Student roles in literature circles
    • are like ‘training wheels.’
  • 33.
    • While they are good way to support students into good discussion habits, student roles can become a bit limiting after a while.
  • 34.
    • I have included 6 student roles…
    • You don’t have to use all of them if there are less students in the group.
    • Copies of these sheets are on the downloads page in the Wiki.
  • 35.
    • Discussion director
    • Develops a set of questions for the group to discuss about the part of the book being discussed.
    • Helps people talk over the "big ideas" in the reading and share their reactions.
    • Directs the discussion by asking each member to share what their role was and what they came up with.
  • 36.
    • Connector
    • There are three kinds of connections we may make when reading;
    • text to self: when we have had similar experiences or feelings to a character or characters in the book
    • text to text: when we see similarities between what we reading and other books we have read. This could be things like setting, character/s or storyline or genre of the book.
    • text to world: when we see similarities between what we are reading and things that happen in the real world.
    • The connector makes notes of any connections they may make from the passage they have just read. They indicate what kind of connection it is by writing TS, TT, or TW.
    • They also ask other members of the group to share any connections they may have made.
  • 37.
    • Passage picker
    • The passage picker chooses 3 passages to share with the group.
    • The passage could be;
    • well-written
    • funny
    • thought-provoking
    • confusing
    • surprising
    • or it could have good dialogue, set a mood or show a trait in a particular character
  • 38.
    • Word Wizard
    • The word wizard notes and clarifies any words they are unsure of the meaning of.
    • They also choose one word they think is important and complete a word map for it.
  • 39.
    • Illustrator
    • They use clear language to write a caption that describes their illustration.
    • They share their illustration with the group and say why they chose that part of the story to illustrate .
    • The illustrator selects a scene and portrays it visually in their own way. e.g. an illustration, labeled diagram or a story map.
  • 40.
    • Summariser
    • The summariser makes a list of the key points in the part of the story they have just read.
    • They can use starters such as these to help them:
    • The main point the author is making is…………….
    • In my own words, the story is about…………..
    • The most important idea in this article/story is……………………
    • Another name for this story/article could be…………
    • The story is mostly about………………..
    • The whole point of this story/article is……………..
    • If I had to explain this part of the story to someone else, I would say…………………..
  • 41.
    • Alternatively if you feel your students are already capable of holding a good discussion, you may just want to use a more general discussion sheet.
    • (there is one in downloads section at the bottom of the students role column)
  • 42.
    • So what does an overview of a week look like in a literature circle group?
    • As I have never done this myself I’m not quite sure!!! (big help you say!)
    • But I would see it looking something like this…
  • 43.
    • Read the first week planner sheet in the downloads section to help you start to plan.
  • 44.
    • It’s probably a good time to have look at the resources on the downloads page and familiarize yourself with what’s there.
    • Once you have done that you can start to plan your literature circles unit.
  • 45.
    • It has been hard to find good examples on planning for lit circles because they tend to evolve as they go along as you find what does or doesn’t work. This link will take you to more detailed information on planning for lit circles.
    • http:// www.litcircles.org/Structure/planning.html
  • 46.
    • One aspect that seems to be an issue is reading speed.
    • Kids are not allowed to read ahead.
    • While we don’t want to discourage kids reading, it is important for the group that they stay together. Suggest that fast readers have 2 books on the go and slow readers can use SSR to catch up.
  • 47.
    • What happens when the book is finished?.....
    • Students choose a way to respond to the text they have just read.
    • It may be easier for you to provide one extension activity they can all do this time but eventually it is ok if they can choose different activities that may all be done in the same timeframe.
    • A bit of info about extension projects follows…
  • 48. Extension Projects
    • Extension projects are not art activities for their own sake. A good extension project will keep the thinking and response alive even after students have finished a book. The goal is to lure students back into the book to cement, enhance, and even reinvent what they gained from their first visit.”
    ¹http://fac-staff.seattleu.edu/kschlnoe/LitCircles/Extension/extension.html, Katherine L. Schlick Noe, 2004.
  • 49. Extension Project Guiding Questions
    • Will the audience learn something about your book from your project?
    • Does your project show what you have learned by reading the book?
    • Did you reflect and reread part of the book in order to get your ideas across?
  • 50.
    • Here are some examples – there are lots of ideas in
    • The Reading Activity Handbook
    • that would suitable too.
    There are also links to some good ideas on the downloads page of the Wiki.
  • 51.
    • Wordle Summary
    • Each student thinks of 3 powerful words that summarise the big ideas in the story.
    • Go to wordle.com. Follow the instructions on the website.
    • Write in all the students words (if some students have the same word write it again. The wordle will make words that come up alot bigger.
  • 52. Literary weaving Literary Weaving
  • 53.
    • Assessment is completed by students
    • self evaluation and group assessment
    • and by the teacher informal assessment
    • Think about it…
    • Would YOU join a book club if you were getting a mark out of 10 for it?
  • 54.
    • There are three supports for assessment in the assessment part of the downloads section of the Wiki. They are…
    • Student self assessment form
    • Literature circle daily report
    • Teacher observation notes
    • (prompts to help you assess where kids are at)
  • 55.
    • So that’s it from me
    • Thanks for taking the time to read this.
    • and I hope you’ve enjoyed your cup of tea/coffee/glass of water or that glass of wine!
  • 56. Lots of luck – have fun and I hope you and your kids will love literature circles!