Do you ever feel like you’re in a “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” book? Sometimes my train of thoughts works like that! The latest mouse episode happened on my FB page. I gave a link to a list of best chapter books and then someone asked for a list with grade level equivalents. Then I shared one of my favorite teacher tools – Scholastic Book Wizard. Next, I gave a link to a post I wrote giving suggestions for organizing Literature Circles. Then someone asked how you could use Daily 5 and Literature Circles.
Are you caught up with the trail of cookie crumbs? At the end of the trail, I thought I should tell you how you can use the Scholastic Book Wizard when you plan Literature Circles.
This is a hypothetical class which we will call Mrs. Mouse’s class. Mrs. Mouse has 25 students. Mrs. Mouse has divided her class into 5 literature circles.
With today’s hectic schedules, one way to use your time wisely is to integrate subjects and skills as much as possible. Mrs. Mouse is going to use the Scholastic Book Wizard so she can find books on the appropriate levels about the objects and subjects she is currently teaching – ancient times (Greece, Rome, Egypt)
Step #1: Click on Scholastic site (click on picture)
First, type Ancient Rome in the search box.
Second, choose what type of reading level system you use. I chose grade level equivalent.
Third, choose “search by level”
Step #3: Mrs. Mouse chose reading levels 2.0 – 4.5
Step #4: This step is very important when you use Literature Circles with older students. I found this out the hard way when I helped my friend who is a 6th grade teacher organize her groups. Fluency plays an important role with older students. You can have 2 students reading on the same level, but if their fluency rates differs greatly you will have issues. So, a word to the wise, look at fluency rates if you teach older students. If you don’t have time to test your students’ fluency rate, you can take a quick survey. Ask your students to write down their 3 favorite books and the title of the book they are currently reading for pleasure. Generally speaking, the longer the book, the higher the fluency rate.
Step #5: Mrs. Mouse put her students into the following groups:
Group #1 (level 2.0 – 2.4 / Low fluency)
- Vacation Under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne (level 2.2)
Group #2 (level 2.2 – 2.6 / Average fluency)
- Hour of the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne (level 2.2)
Group #3 (2.5 – 2.9 / Average fluency+)
- The Curse of Cheese Pyramid by Geronimo Stilton (level 2.7)
Group #4 (3.0 – 3.5 / (High fluency)
- Ancient Greece and the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne, Natalie Pope Boyce (level 3.3)
Group # 5 (4.0 – 4.4/ High fluency)
- Flat Stanley’s The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery by Sarah Pennypacker and Jeff Brown (level 4.4)
Step #6: Mrs. Mouse took her list of groups and the list of books she found in her Book Wizard search to the library. Mrs. Books, the librarian, was happy to show Mrs. Mouse which books the library had multiple copies of and said she could borrow more books from the public library for her.
With some planning and organization, Mrs. Mouse class was able to learn about Ancient times during their reading lessons, which were also differentiated.
Looking for more ideas?