Monday, March 14, 2016

Literature Circles in 1st Grade

It's March, which means we are pushing our kids to get them right where they need to be by the end of the year.  If you are like me, you're exhausted and looking for challenging, yet engaging activities that your children can do.  Have you ever used literature circles with your first graders?  I have used them for many years and they are an EXCELLENT way to keep kids challenged, engaged, and having fun...especially in the spring!

By now, many of your readers are at or above grade level.  But we all have that "few" that are still struggling and still needing MUCH support.  Literature circles provide all levels of readers with the opportunity to read, discuss, and write about books.  Setup is simple:

1.  Group your students according to ability/reading level.

  • You will want to group your students into groups of 4-5.  Try not to go past 5 if possible...behavior problems can occur if your groups are too big.  If you have a para-professional {Ha!  What's that?}, you can assign them to your lowest group of readers OR you can take that group.  It would be ideal to have someone floating while the other adult is holding a group.  

2.  Select books appropriate for each group.

  • This is where the fun comes in!  You don't have to use leveled text for this.  You can pick quality literature that kids love.  All you need to do is find multiple copies.  Check your teammates, public library, school library, use listening center books, etc...For your low readers, you will want to select a guided reading book that's appropriate for their level.  However, you can use a regular book, but you will be the one reading the book to them.  It's up to you how you want your low group to look.

3.  Assign "roles" {more about that in a minute} to each member.

  • Using the provided role cards in this pack, assign each group member a role.  I've included two sets for easy differentiation; basic roles and average/advanced roles.  Included roles are:  My Favorite Part, I Want to Share, Journal, How I Feel, Book Review, Circle Leader, Story Summarizer, Question Caper, Artist, Word Detective, and Connection Caper.

4.  Copy role sheets for each member.

  • Print a role sheet for each group member.  *I keep all of my role sheets organized in a binder for quick access.  

5.  Go over the procedures/expectations.

  • Prior to launching literature circles, think about how they should look in your classroom.  What should the kids be doing?  What shouldn't they be doing?  What should the noise level be? What should they do when they are finished with their role sheet?  Management is a big part of literature circles working effectively.  Taking the time to think/talk about these things prior to starting will set both you and your students up for success.

6.  Release kids into their literature circles and watch the fun happen!

  • Once your kids are ready, let them have at it!  Below is a sample schedule of how literature circles can be used.

Monday:  Introduce new groups.  Provide time for children to read their books in their groups. Providing popcorn or pretzels is a good way to keep them busy while they read.

Tuesday: Assign roles.  Using the provided name tags, assign the days' roles to each group member. They will work on their role sheet for the day.  If they finish early, they can re-read their book.  *This is true for any day.  When everyone is finished, allow sharing time.  This is where group members will share out their role sheets and the other members can ask questions/give compliments/etc...

Wednesday: Assign new roles.  Using the provided name tags, assign the days' roles to each group member.  They will work on their role sheet for the day.  If they finish early, they can re-read their book.  *This is true for any day.  When everyone is finished, allow sharing time.  This is where group members will share out their role sheets and the other members can ask questions/give compliments/etc...

Thursday:  Repeat Wednesday's process of assigning new roles.

Friday:  Repeat Thursday's process of assigning new roles.

*At any time, kids are welcomed to re-read their books.  This will be especially helpful for those who have the more challenging role sheets.



To try literature circles in your own classroom, click below!  You won't regret it!  




xo
Megan 

3 comments:

Angie Nelson said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is amazing, I am going to start this in our last nine weeks. I have been wanting to try literature circles with my class and never began, this is perfect!!!

Torri Leigh said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I bought your packet a few weeks ago and am ready to try it. Do the students work from the same book all week? The 5 roles just rotate through the students and the students respond about the weekly book 3 different times?

fellowship personal statement said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

These are even the better prospects which will help the students to initiate with every possible guide they needed to acquire to their own.

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