Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Using Literature Circles With I-Pads

In my classroom, I like to mix in literature circles during my guided reading block. I wouldn't say that I do "true" literature circles, but it has transformed to being guided reading with some blogging added in. I have taken the traditional literature circle roles and used them with KidBlog to increase my students' literacy performance. All of the students work is completed on KidBlog so that they can collaborate with one another. Here are the different roles that I use. I have found these roles online from various sources and changed them to work in my classroom.

Summarizer: Students will summarize the highlights and key points from the previous readings. Students prepare their summaries on their KidBlog account. Other students are able to comment and discuss the summary that the summarizer has come up with.

Questioner: The questioner lists questions from the reading that would help increase the discussion from the group. The students can answer questions on KidBlog that the questioner has posted.

Illustrator: The illustrator shares their own images and visions of what they visualized while reading.It can be a sketch, cartoon, diagram, flowchart, or stick figure scene. Students are able use Google Drive or Educreations to draw what they visualized and then upload their drawing to their KidBlog account.

Vocabulary Enricher: These students will discuss any words that they found that stood out or were crucial to what they read. Students will post their words on KidBlog, where the words came from in the selection, what they words mean, and why they choose those words.

Literary Luminary: The literary luminary finds parts of the text that are interesting, powerful, puzzling, or important in their opinions. Students will briefly describe the part of the selection that they chose and why they feel that this part is important to the text or reader.

I have found that using KidBlog along with the iPads is a way to engage students in what they are reading. The students are able to collaborate together about what they have read. This is also a way to switch from paper to paperless. I don't waste the paper that I used to when I did formal literature circles. However, I feel that my students' learning has increased from using technology with the literature circles. Ipads make this process simple because students can easily upload pictures or drawings. They are also able to transport the Ipad throughout the room during reading stations. This process is something new that I have begun this year but it is proving to be worthwhile.

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