Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Literature Circles, Roles, and The Cool-Itch Kid

I absolutely adore this point in the first grade school year. It seems like the students just leap ahead in independence and maturity, and it's so amazing to witness the transition among many of them. With increasing independence and capabilities has come the implementation of literature circles for some of my groups. They are loving it. 
One of our recent texts has been The Case of the Cool-Itch Kid. If you have a young reader at home, or young readers in the classroom, I highly recommend placing this book in their hands. If you visited me here earlier this week, you probably read my brief review of this text. I will share it again for those of you who missed it:

This is a lively, imaginative, and altogether realistic tale of a young girl attending summer camp for the first time. Young readers who enjoy sassy characters, much like Junie B. Jones, will find another favorite character in Dawn Bosco. An engaging read with many potential connections for readers of all ages.

It has been a pleasure to watch some of my students become so absorbed in, and delighted by, this text.

Upon completing their reading in the text each day, the students completed their own individual tasks related to the text. Their roles were determined by "spinning" for their part at the beginning of the week, before beginning the text.

Each role has corresponding tasks to complete for the text after each daily reading. These are the roles and tasks my students have been using this week.

I think their favorite is the "Wild Word Wizard," but they have been pretty excited about all of them. For some reason, they were sure that I would give the wizard a "really cool hat" to wear… I'm not sure what I have done to earn such expectations from them! ;) Regardless, I love the fact that they have been so eager to take on these roles. 

I provided activity pages for each role. Each page is designed specifically for the role, and it has a section to complete each day of the reading. I love having a record of their responses to their reading, and I can easily track their progress throughout the whole week with only one page for student. The fewer papers we have to manage, the better, right?!?

This is an example of the activity page for one role:
This product, "Literature Circles Roles & Activities" is full of reading goodies. It is available in the Tally Tales TPT store here.

All in all, this process has been a smooth one for us so far. I am pretty sure the success with our literature circles so can be attributed to that Cool-Itch Kid and this young readers' mystery. Still, I'll take what I can get…