Student voice and choice have always been critical components of the Literature Circle experience and these can be greatly enhanced through the use of technology. In my 6th grade class, students are given multiple opportunities to make important choices that drive their learning process within the Literature Circle dynamic.
Four Elements of Choice in Literature Circles
- Book selection – Students choose the books they will read.
- Job assignments – Students decide which roles they will assume
- Chapters read – Students decide how much they will read for the next session.
- Digital platform used – Students decide which digital platform the group will utilize.
Since they are very familiar with the Google Classroom platform (I’ve been using it all year), students created Google classroom classes for their Literature Circle book groups. I asked them to add me as a co-teacher so I can monitor the class stream for each group. In some groups, one student assumes the role of teacher for the week and then this position is rotated in addition to the roles in the Literature Circles. This allows students to submit digital evidence in the form of Google Docs, BookSnaps and/or any other application chosen. In other groups, all members join as “teachers” for their class. It’s totally up to the students!
Students post reminders in the class stream and comment when necessary. School appropriate chat rules apply and individuals who don’t adhere to our code of conduct can be muted with their comments deleted if necessary.
Students are encouraged to select and/or customize the class theme of their Literature Circle Google Classroom class. They can choose from the themes available in Classroom, or upload their own pictures. One group decided to change the class theme each week giving each group member an opportunity to choose it.
Students post job assignments (with descriptions) to be completed for upcoming meetings. One group even found a Literature Circle job description document and added it to their class stream.
Students post digital resources including links to Audiobooks and PDFs of their books so group members can complete assigned reading at home even if they leave their books in school. They are encouraged to use the digital tools and resources we’ve used in class throughout the school year. It’s amazing to see how easily they apply this knowledge!
Do you want to know more about the plethora of digital tools that are available for Literature Circles?
Join me in San Antonio at ISTE 2017 for the following BYOD session: