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Home : 2006 : Jul : 11

    By imalith

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    I can tell you what I do and you can decide what works best for you.

    I alternate between guided reading and lit circles. There is not enough time in the day to do both and I think it would get confusing to have so much going on. During both GR and LC my students have independent reading books also.

    Literature Circles are very fun. First I split my kids into groups of 5-6 by their reading levels. I chose 3-4 books at their level and their group makes a decision about which book they would like to read. I prepare a chart of jobs that need to be completed and each student will have a different job each day as the roles will alternate. If a group has only 5 then one person will have an extra task. On another chart they mark out pages and chapters to be read for each session. I show models of the jobs, so students know what is expected.

    Day 1, students pick out books, set up number of chapters to read to finish their book within a 12 day span. They divide out the roles, and read the first chapter or two.

    Day 2: Students have their first meeting to share their role sheets. First person to start is the Discussion director. I actually give them time allotments on the first day and some groups model the discussion for others. The first day isn't very good because they get interrupted at times, but it helps to get them understanding the type of discussion questions and interactions I expect. After the discussion they pass out the new role sheets and read the next chapters silently. If they finish the reading and role sheets early they read their own independent reading books. If they are not finished they have homework.

    The remainder of the days are similar except they run their meetings at their own times. I also provide discussion questions and activities for individuals to complete. I do NOT do this everyday. I give them a break with other literacy actvities or sometimes writing takes both class periods about once a week.

    At the end of the books, the groups complete a bulletin board or a poster with criteria I provide about the book. It is usually persuasive and the goal is to get others to read the book without giving away the ending. It will include a summary, pictures and quotes from the story. They present these whole class.

    I grade students based on their individual role sheets, individual activities, final project and discussion participation. Students complete a grading rubric on other students in their groups. Also, I sit in with groups and partcipate with a different group each session and give participation grades from those sessions. I grade the role sheets each day by quickly glancing over the sheets and giving 10 points for extraordinary work.

    Late work or didn't read: Anyone who does not complete their role sheet probably did not read the chapters either. They are not permitted to participate in the group that day and spend that time getting caught up. They hate to miss group, so it is very motivating. Anyone that has 3 zeros by not completing work is kicked out of the group and must complete tasks alone. This is rare. Most hate to miss the group discussions.

    One more thing: One rule I have is that no one can read ahead. This will ruin the story and discussion for others.

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