I am a passionate supporter of reading in elementary school classrooms. (Teachers reading to students, students reading to teachers, and students reading to themselves.) Reading gives children power. It gives them an opinion. It gives them a voice. I get jitters just thinking about the doors that can open for children through literacy.
Needless to say, I am always looking for new ways to bring reading into the everyday classroom.
In order for Literature Circles to work in a streamlined fashion you need to have a tried and tested method for organization in place. This helps to keep the reading process individualized and allows for all students to take part.
What Are Literature Circles?
At its core, Literature Circles are groups of students meeting together to discuss reading. (And that my friend is a beautiful thing.)
Basically, Literature Circles are another name for elementary school Book Clubs.
Why You Should Use Literature Circles With Your Students.
Literature Circles encourage students to own their learning. (As a teacher and parent this makes me happy.)
Have you noticed that children are curious by nature? By encouraging curiosity within reading, students develop ownership of their learning. Of course, when students own learning they also develop lifelong skills for success. (It’s like magic!)
With Literature Circles students read, think, question and discuss. It also provides them with a foundation for navigating literature and their world.
Why, This? Why, Now?
Literature Circles can be a daunting task for elementary school teachers. Even the basic organization can be stressful. (Believe me, I know.) I don’t have time to waste on things that aren’t effective and I know you don’t either. This is why I created ‘Literature Circles That Work.’
‘Literature Circles That Work’ not only provides a booklet with original task stems to engage students. But also provides a method for organizing Literature Circles in a streamlined fashion.
It keeps the reading process individualized and allows for all students to take part.
‘Literature Circles That Work!’ provides a scaffold for children to write about reading and talk about thinking. This method keeps things simple and authentic, plus it actually works.
How It Works!
With the right planning, your Literature Circle will run smoothly. Here is how I do it;
- Create student groups – Based on interest, not reading ability
- Determine-reading assignments – Divide by five (Reading assignments are key. They allow all students in your class to begin and finish their novels on the same day.)
- Assign question stem tasks – The tasks in this resource are universal and allow all students in a class to maintain a similar focus, regardless of their group or text title.
During the first four weeks of every Literature Circle cycle, assign random non-repeating question stems from the booklet. For the fifth week of every cycle, assign students a secret message sheet instead of a question stem.
It’s also important to schedule meetings – Educators assign meeting dates for five sequential weeks. Making sure that all groups meet each week. (This simplifies the entire process.)
Last But Not Least
I agree with Einstein ‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’
Simple is often best, especially in education. The ‘Literature Circles That Work!’ booklet bundle is simple and authentic. Most important, it works!