Sunday, 5 February 2012

Online Literature Circles

This past week, we’ve launched our second set of books for our online literature circles. This is always one of my favourite times in Connected Classrooms!

This year, we’ve chose survival as our over-arching theme for this years lit circles. Each time we introduce a new book set, we launch with book talks. Each teacher book talks their three choices for this set during a videoconference, and fields questions about the books. Students are eager to get their hands on the new books, and it’s fantastic to have such genuine excitement for books. The bin has been sitting in my office for a week, highly coveted, and students are keen to begin their new reading adventures.

Students in the project are responsible for responding at least once a week to the deep thinking question their book leader has posted on moodle in their reading forums. During each new set, the teachers each lead and moderate a forum for three books. In many forums, students often begin their own discussion threads, and it has led to some very interesting online conversations. Students work at their own pace; some students finish a book within days and are on to the next, while others may take several weeks. We also offer the option of audio books for many of the books in our book bins, and this makes challenging text accessible to multiple levels of readers.

This set is a combination of decades-old classics, science fiction/fantasy, comedy, aboriginal content and Canadian literature.

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