Today I'm heading to Warsaw, IN with the All Write!!! Consortium to listen to Stephanie Harvey. She is the author of such books as: Strategies That Work, The Comprehension Toolkit, and Nonfiction Matters. She also co-authored Comprehension Collaboration with Harvey Daniels.
Since I will be spending the whole day and even having supper with her at night, I felt that I should do some homework. I read Strategies That Work years ago. I used Comprehension Toolkit. I've watched and shared her DVD "Read, Write, and Talk" many times. But, even though I've owned Comprehension Collaboration for several years, I have not gotten through it. Because of that, I plunged in and began reading.
Right away in chapter 1---Kids Want to Know--I came across steps to initiate literature circles which are patterned after adult reading groups. Each student picks a book and then three to four classmates who want to read it, too, get into a group. The teacher picks books for them to choose from that are "just right" books for the students. They will pick the book that is at their just right level.
As these groups begin to read, they make a calendar and divide the book into chunks. The chunks will be discussed at two or three day intervals. The children then create ground rules which will include what to do about the child who is unprepared or who doesn't do the reading. The calendar and the rules are submitted to the teacher who gives her approval. They are then filed in the groups folder.
The students meet every few days to discuss their reading. When they come to the end of the book, instead of assigning a book report, summary or even a report about the author, the teacher has the group think about what questions they now have or still have after reading the book. They will be encouraged to reflect, examine their own thinking, and pose future questions.
This is where the inquiry circles come into play...thus the book: Comprehension Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action. I can't wait to hear Stephanie later today and hear what she has to say! I will report back this week!