Saturday, May 28, 2011

Literature Circles

What IS a lit. circle? According to Harvey Daniels' definition: "Literature circles are small, temporary discussion groups who have chosen to read the same story, poem, article, or book...[E]ach member prepares to take specific responsibilities in the upcoming discussion, and everyone comes to the group with the notes needed to help perform that job" (13).

I have always been interested in Literature Circles in the classroom. Over the years I have made attempts to introduce it into my classroom curriculum. The major struggle has been the required curriculum and the focus on basal and directed reading to meet the demands of NCLB and AYP.      However with the advent of Common Core I have a renewed interest in Literature Circle.This year after our state testing was done I introduced Literature Circles to my students. THEY LOVE IT!!
The students can not wait to get into their groups for reading and discussion. I am amazed at how intelligent the conversations are and when I visit the groups they are animated and ready to tell me what they have read, discuss the characters, and show connections between the world, text, and themselves.
Harvey Daniels is the original creator of Literature Circles and here is a link to the research that supports Literature Circles in the classroom
The following websites have resources that support Literature Circles:
Brent Coley:
Laura Candler:
Instructional Strategies for Literature Circles

IPAD Literature Circles

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Thinkquest is a great technology tool to use the students. Thinquest is an online learning platform that helps students develop 21st century learning skills, including communication, critical thinking, and technology. Thinquest provides a project environment that supports collaborative learning within a protected format.

Live Binder for Sensational Science

The binders below contain information to compliment Sensesational Science. Sensesational Science was developed in 2008 and is a premier professional development experience for any teacher in Tulsa and surrounding areas. The University of Tulsa and various Tulsa non-profit agencies are sponsors of the Sensesational Science project.      

Sensesational Science offers a unique workshop experience where teachers are shown how to integrate curriculum across content areas and incorporate community resources in their classroom to meet the demands of 21st Century teaching.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Square of Life

Square of Life: Studies in Local and Global Environments is an Internet-based collaborative project in which students will investigate their local environment and share that information with other students from around the country and the world.

My students participated in this project. It is great for hands-on learning and developing inquiry skills in science.  Students plotted a square yard and recorded what they saw. We then uploaded that information to the website. Now that the data has been uploaded the students will compare and contrast their areas with other schools across the United States.

Here is the link to the completed project:

Discovery Boxes

I recieved a mini grant from This discovery box will make a wonderful addition to my science centers. This grant was posted in mid-April. You must apply the grant to either the medium or the large discovery box. You are also responsible for the difference and the shipping cost but even with that this is a wonderful opportunity for my students to develop their inquiry skills in science and to be introduced to real life artifacts that many may never have the opportunity to observe.