Literature Circles: Article, Printable Role Sheets, Harvey Daniels Interview, MORE!By Teachers.Net News DeskAuthor: News Desk Name: Teachers.Net News Desk
by Jan Zeiger
During my first couple of years of teaching, I was required to teach reading the “SFA” way. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, count your blessings! “SFA” stands for Success for All. It’s a reading program that promises “success” for every student. I taught the this rigid, scripted program for two years until I could no longer be a part of it. But that’s another article.
When I changed schools, I was so excited about being able to teach reading using an approach that would excite my students while enabling them to grow as readers. However, I didn’t know where to start. I began my research by reading Guiding Readers and Writers by Fountas and Pinnell, and I was truly inspired. I also spent hours online doing research about reading instruction.
In September, I decided to try using Literature Circles with my students. I read that they were temporary reading groups in which students had the opportunity to choose the books and discuss them with their peers. I also read about a magnificent book by Harvey Daniels on this approach. However, I was so busy with my fifth graders that I couldn’t find time to read the book. (I have it on my summer reading list.) Instead I went online and found some incredible resources. I was able to use those sites to get started with Literature Circles in my classroom. This is my fifth month of using this approach, and I am very happy with the results. In addition to Literature Circles, I’ve been doing shared reading and guided reading with my students. They are also reading their own books at home and keeping reading logs about those books. In this article, I will discuss how I manage Literature Circles in my classroom and how these reading groups have had a positive impact on my students.
I begin setting up my Literature Circles by choosing 5 books for my class. I try to choose award-winning texts with a wide-range of difficulty. I stay away from books like Harry Potter because most of my students will read them on their own. I try to choose classics such as Where the Red Fern Grows and other books that lend themselves to good discussion.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Novel Study Unit CD
Office Product (The Teaching Bank)
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