Lit Circles: The Beginning Steps of my Inquiry

For my inquiry I am going to look at Literature Circles and how to implement them effectively in the classroom. I was watching some videos on Youtube and these two are good intro videos for getting an idea of how to start approaching lit circles.  Most Literature circle groups have 4-6 members.


The teacher in the first video stresses the importance of setting up the structure for the lit circles. She does this with lots of modelling for the students on how to conduct the roles within the groups. I really think the critical component of this teachers model is that on day 2 and 3 of lit circles, she meets with all the students of a particular role and helps them prepare them for that role. She appeared to give them a sheet with prompts to help keep the discussions going when it was time to meet in groups. Without the students fully understanding their roles and being able to contribute the application of lit circles would not be successful.


The whole class is reading the same book which is easier when introducing Lit Circles to a class for the first time. It allows for the teacher to  make sure that all the students are able to refine their skills so they can contribute the key points of the book. The goal is to work towards having the students capable enough where each group can do a different book.



This video defined 5 roles that people can use for Lit circles. Each person has two mins to talk about their component of the story and engage the other members in the group.

Summarizer: This person summarizes the key points in the chapter and reminds the group of some information that could have been missed.

Visualizer: This person picks the best setting from the chapter and recreates it for the group. The visualizer is encouraged to pick lines from the text that support their visualization.

Inferencer: One of the tougher roles, the inferencer is trying to decipher the characters and determine who they are as people. This role focuses on the relationships and interactions between characters in the text.

Symbolizer: This role looks at the big idea or theme of the chapter and tries to make connections from within the story. Also, the symbolizer can make real-world connections to the book.

Word Detective: This person’s role is to find uncommon/tricky words within the chapter. Then they are to try and create their own definition using clues from within the book as well as outside sources.


The teacher in this video suggests changing the roles between chapters so each student can try and use a different perspective when reading the novel/text. He also acknowledged that it can be a slow initially. If there is a commitment by both the students and the teacher, lit circles can grow into a valuable strategy where the students growth is empowering.


These two videos were a good start for my inquiry project. I now have an idea of what lit circles look like in a classroom. Working this method into the routine is critical as well as modeled and well defined roles. Over time lit circles can help students lead their own learning and they can grow their confidence and enjoyment of reading. I look forward to my next steps in my learning.

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Spelling & English Language Learners

image sourced from publicdomainpics

This article has many good insights about how to teach and help English Language Learners to succeed in our classrooms. It has some helpful ideas that can easily be adapted to our practice. Here are a few key points I took from this article:

  • Teachers that mark mistakes on student’s work actually distracts them rather than helping them correct themselves. Student mistakes are a key part of developing language.
  • Instead of the standard spelling test, show students the pictures that indicate the meaning of the word and then write it. We could also give multiple-choice tests that has various ways of spelling a word and see if they can recognize the right spelling.
  • It can be difficult for students to develop fluency when they have to ask for help or look up a word in a dictionary because it stops their flow of thinking and it can be hard to continue their train of thought.


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First blog post

For my first blog, I wanted to post a video to capture my idea and my passion for this inquiry project. My goal is to develop a greater understanding of how to empower young women in schools, to build their confidence, and to educate them on powerful women in history.


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Moving Forward –>

We have learned so much about inquiry in these last month or so in our courses. A common pattern I have noticed is the focus on inquiry in more of an intermediate setting. Inquiry for the primary grades can be challenging because of the amount of materials and content that needs to be covered.

My colleague Lindsy Friendship and I have found a way to bring our primary students natural wonders and curiosities with inquiry and play. Some people may be wondering; What does this look like? Where do you go next? How do you cover all your students?

As we move through this inquiry you will get to see these questions being covered. We all know that every classroom is different and every student in the classroom is too, so not all of these ideas will work for every time and will definitely need to be adapted accordingly.

I am excited to explore this inquiry and share my experience with you! Please comment with any questions, or thoughts.


Thank you

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