I started introducing the concept of a literature circle right after Christmas. At this time we were deep into our reading tracks and understanding the different types of responses. This made it easy because when I introduce the jobs the students were already familiar with the strategy. For example, our visualizations are similar to the artist. Our discussion director facilitates questions. You get the idea, right?
Well here is how we do literature circles in my room. They are so much fun. It starts on Monday. I do a quick book talk on the selections for the week. There are three choices. Each group has six kids in it. I have added a new student recently but it hasn't been a problem yet so there are times that a group will have seven kids in it.
I display the books throughout the morning and the kids can look over them during our Daily 5 time. This helps them choose a just right book or one that interests them. I do not emphasize levels during literature circles because we have done minilessons addressing how to find a group member to help you read when a book becomes challenging.
Now that the kids are familiar with the books we take some time to choose a book AND job. I let them have complete control over it. This is how I do it. I have clothespins with the kids names on them. After lunch the clothespins are passed out. I call the kids by tables and let them choose a book and job. The jobs are Connector, Performer, Discussion Director, Artist, Word Finder, and Storyteller. The kids clip their clothespin on the job they want with the appropriate book.
|This chart is great because it has a magnet or you can use 3M hooks to hang it. Mine hangs on my air conditioner.|
On Friday we get to share about the books. I don't get too involved other than to police to be sure that we are not spending too long on one person's role. The students are good about paying attention to one another. They also enjoy a break from some of the other parts of our day to just have a 'grown up' conversation about a book they selected on their own. Here are a few action shots of our most recent literature circle.
|Asking and answering questions.|
|Retelling the story to a very attentive group.|
|Making connections - it appears it was something funny.|
|Acting like a bird that is doing some good thinking.|
|More performances but this group had a book about cowboys.|
So, please share with me some of your ideas for literature circles! I'm very interested to see how other second grade classes run them. This is my second year of trying them and I feel like they are far improved but have a long way to go to be what they could be.