Well I am back! I have lots to blog about it, just have to get around to doing it. Just now I was listening and watching my kids tapes of their literature circles. Once a week they have been meeting in their groups about the books they are reading. As mentioned in an earlier column my literature circles have taken many combinations and permutations. This year they just seemed to settle in to them very quickly without initially much direction. As time went on they seemed to need more direction at times and some individuals can make the circles a bit difficult. In the past groups changed but these groups have stayed the same. When these groups occur I have another group who meet with our teacher-librarian who is also my resource teacher.
Probably inspired by something I heard at the International Reading Association conference I recently attended, I told them to use their ipads to videotape themselves and that is what I have been watching. Two groups preferred to audiotape with them. All the groups felt that it helped to keep them on task and I actually heard some interesting discussions. The audio tapers seemed to prefer to tape themselves reading but it was kind of lovely to hear them read the words of these great authors. The groups have a combination of discussion, and oral and silent reading. They have a list of suggested questions. They have been eating up books and I have had to go and find them more books. Old treasures such as Call It Courage and Where the Red Fern have come out. They decide how much they are going to read although some people often do read ahead. Some groups read more slowly but they are also reading other books at the same time. One group seems to read a book every week or two.
I honestly don't really have any reluctant readers in this class. As I watched my all boys' group I was impressed by the level of discussion and the use of text to argue and make connections. Why did the lake in Holes dry up was one question? In another group a girl who faked reading in the past was using text to correct her group mates about Stargirl's winning of contests.
I think I will have them make use of the ipads to video tape again today. And now thanks to the videotape, I know who was making the annoying noise with his ruler!
I realized I didn't have any recent lit circle pictures so I just put up this quote-I have my frustrations at times but the quote is so true about my class.