Today I visited with my good friend, Sandy, who is a 6th grade teacher. You were introduced to her when I helped her set up Literature Circles in her class in January. A couple of weeks later, Sandy asked if there could be a tech component added to Literature Circles. We brainstormed ways to add this and came up with the jobs of techie guru and blogomizer.
Sandy would also like to use L.C. when she teaches some of her whole class novel units. She loved how she was able to differentiate her curriculum using books on different levels when she used L.C. last year. Is it possible to differentiate when you use the same book? So after throwing around a few ideas, we think we came up with a solution.
Sandy will divide her class into group of four. These groups will be heterogeneous (1 high, 2 middle, and 1 low). She will arrange the desks in groups of four so the groups will be sitting next to each other. She will use L.C. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Each person in the group will have an assigned day to be in charge of the paperwork for the group. Example, each Monday, the student who is #1 in each group will be in charge of getting the group’s L.C. folder from the Reading Tub. Inside the folder is page protectors full of assignments. Each page protector holds multiple copies of one assignment. On Monday, student #1 will get out the assignments for each person in his/her group. The assignments will be written on the white board. When work time is over, each person in the group gives his/her assignment to the student in charge. The student in charge puts his/her group’s assignments in the front pocket of the L.C. folder. When Sandy grades the assignments, she pulls one L.C. folder from the tub at a time, grades the papers, records them, and then puts the graded work in the back pocket of the L.C. folder. The student who is in charge passes out graded work to his/her group members.
As you can see, Sandy and I are slowly adding more jobs than are in a typical Literature Circle. This created a few management challenges. All of the students assigned #1 in their group reads above grade level. Each time the groups meet, Sandy will give them more a challenging assignment, student #2 and #3 will be assigned on grade level assignments, and student #4 will have assignments that meet their needs. Some of the assignments in L.C. will look the same but have different directions. Example – quiz whiz assignment: one ability level will write 3 questions that are inferential, another ability level will write questions that are literal, and another ability level will write questions that are evaluative. Sometimes they will write a mixture of these type of questions, too. It no longer matters that Sandy has more than the typical number of L.C. jobs, because the student who is in charge will take the assignment out of the folder and give it to the students in his/her group.
Here’s a planning sheet you can use.
Looking for more ideas?