Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Spark-MIT 2016: Literature Circles

I am inquiring into how learners in my Year 6 class can make and sustain accelerated gain in reading. Based on my observations and conversations with learners, all fluent readers enjoy reading but do not always actively choose to engage with longer texts independently. Despite some barriers to these learners accessing a range of relevant and interesting books, there are also personal mindset barriers which impact which books learners choose to read and how learners attempt to sustain reading a longer chapter book.  

According to the Ministry of Education, a literature circle is an approach to teaching reading that encourages fluent readers to think about and discuss books, usually longer texts. In such a “book club” a small group read the same novel independently, coming together at certain times to share their opinions, feelings and thoughts with the rest of the group.

Within the context of this inquiry, one reading group has been introduced to literature circles this term to investigate if this teaching approach can foster independence and deeper connections with a longer text amongst fluent readers. The group has taken on different roles using literature circle resources devised by Sheena Cameron.

So far, the response has been positive: learners have worked together to clarify roles and provided support to others when preparing for their first meeting - at which they enjoyed rich discussions led by the Discussion Director.

The learners are creating and completing their designated tasks digitally, although this can only be described as substitution within the SAMR model at present. However, the visible co-operation, collaboration and purposeful talk are supporting the growth of actively-engaged learners who, it is hoped, will choose to persevere to become resilient independent readers over time.

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