Sunday, September 25, 2011

Literature Circles

Every year that I have taught 3rd grade, I have searched high and low for new ways to implement literature circles in my class. I've tried several different ways but still no luck. I was never happy with the turn out. The students were not focusing on accountable book talk. Instead, the meetings were pointless, boring, and the students were just not into it. This year, I refuse to let this happen again! 

Let's just say that when I'm determined I won't give up!

So this is what I'm planning...
1. Since I have such a large class size, I was thinking about having 4-5 students (tops!) in a group. So that would be 5 groups of 5 and 2 groups of 4.
2. Only having 5 jobs:
Question Writer, Summarizer, Vocabulary Finder, 
Illustrator, Story Mapper.
3. Use one book to teach the class each job and spend one week on each job with the students (in the past, I only spent a few days on each job). Get them really prepared to do each job independently.

4. Conduct a "fishbowl" lesson to prepare students for their first meeting. Arrange for a 4th or 5th grade literature circle group to model a literature circle meeting for my class.

5. Decide where I want them to do their literature circle jobs... In the past, I was having them do their jobs in their reading notebooks and the following year I tried worksheets. They both didn't work for me..
  • The students were not doing the jobs correctly in their notebooks because they had a difficult time sticking to the job format. 
  • I've tried using the worksheets from superteacherworksheets. This seemed to start off great but then they started losing the sheets so I put the worksheets in folders. The rotation of the jobs was confusing for them and some lost their folders.
So.... on to something new!
6. Finally, I need to figure out when they can do their jobs. For the past 2 years, I have had them do 1 day of doing their jobs in class and then 1 day meeting with their group. Not in love with this idea... Need to figure out a better way!

  • Using a separate notebook just for literature circles. No worksheets... Just a sheet with the job descriptions and having it glued right into the notebook. (Working on these right now.. I will post these once I figure out how to share docs on googledocs!)
  • I would like to do a mystery book so their conversation will be much more interesting. 
     I haven't decided yet but I was thinking... Nate the Great
or any of the A to Z Mysteries books
That's pretty much what I have so far... PLEASE HELP! :)
I'd really appreciate any ideas you may have used in your classrooms!


Lisa said...

I have my kids create a packet and they put it in a ziploc bad along with their book...and keep extras in a bin in the classroom library..then for a final project...i laminated project ideas with directions and tasks for each project and put the task cards in a bin as well

YearntoLearn said...

You've got a great start. Nate the Great books are a good choice. I teach 3rd grade too. Stop on by my blog.


Yearn to Learn Blog

Mrs. Eimer said...

I decided to nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Visit my blog to find out details and grab the Award Pic.


Post a Comment