Friday, March 1, 2013

Literature Circles

I'm pretty sure that literature circles are my favorite part of my classroom right now!  This is my first year having literature circles, well circle,  as a part of my balanced literacy program.  My group formed in January and they are on their third book right now. 

Here is a quick glimpse into literature circles in my room:

The literature circle group keeps their folder amongst my mess.  They have one folder with a sign in sheet, a list of expectations and a calendar.  Here is a look at the list of expectations that they created:

 I've actually just taken away their role sheets.  Now they get a few stickies and I expect all of the students to come to literature circles prepared with questions, connections and quotes to discuss.

The group uses the calendar to set their homework and decide when to meet next.  I generally have a bit of input about when they should meet.  Lately, we've been favoring Mondays and Thursdays.

Every once in  awhile, I pop into their meetings to listen to their conversations.  When I do, I usually scribble take notes as a transcript.

After they are done, I talk to them about what I noticed about their conversations and usually do a mini lesson about social skills.

At other times, I do a bit of assessing by asking the students to reflect on their experience in literature circles on that day.  When I notice their conversations are beginning to slow down, I'll drop off a sheet for them to complete before they adjourn for the day.

This response asked the students to select the most important question asked during their circle.  All students responded with a very similar idea and elaborated on why the question was so important.  A quick and easy way to make sure the students are on task and on target in their reading and in their conversations!

So tell me, do you do literature circles in your classroom?


  1. I am your newest follower. Your blog looks great. I would love to try literature circles but I am not sure how to get them started.

  2. Hey Katie, thanks for following me! I'm following you now as well. If you haven't read it yet, definitely pick up Harvey Daniels book called Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in the Classroom. I read the entire book to teach myself, since no one else was doing literature circles in my school. I started prepping my kids by doing lots of work with accountable talk and think-pair-share, so they were in the habit of speaking to each other all of the time.