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Small group instructional reading (SGIR) strategies for Independent readers. Reader’s Circle Aidan Chambers (1994) Virginia Outred 2013. This strategy takes the form of a group ‘Book Club’ where children participate in discussions about a text with the teacher as a guide.
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Small group instructional reading(SGIR) strategies for Independent readers Reader’s Circle Aidan Chambers (1994) Virginia Outred 2013
This strategy takes the form of a group ‘Book Club’ where children participate in discussions about a text with the teacher as a guide.
Readers’ Circle involves each group of students selecting a text to read. The students individually read an agreed part of the text and come together to explore their understanding and interpretations of the text.
Benefits include: • the students taking responsibility to read independently between sessions • the development of strategies for making meaning • the development of understanding that there are different interpretations of the same text • the involvement of students in deeply reading a variety of text types.
The Procedure • Choose a text together • initial discussion should focus on the cover, the author and blurb as you lead the group to make predictions on content. • After beginning the reading in their own time the group will come together on a weekly basis with the teacher to discuss responses to the text.
Keeping notes about their likes, dislikes, patterns and puzzles will assist them to participate in the discussion. • Model this procedure to the whole class first using a picture book. • Possibly use one group as a demo group in a fishbowl technique to model the discussion.
Sample questions to guide the discussion: • Tell me…when you first saw this book, even before you read it, what kind of a book did you think it was going to be? • Can you tell me what made you think this? Now you have read the text is it as you expected? • Tell me about anything that particularly caught your attention?
What will you tell your friends about it? • Tell me about the parts you like most. • Tell me about the parts you didn’t like. • Did you notice things in the story that made a pattern?
We’ve listened to each others thoughts about the text, and heard all sorts of things about what we’ve each noticed. Are you surprised by anything someone else said? • Tell me what the author was trying to tell the reader in this text?
The discussion does not begin and end with ‘likes, dislikes, patterns and puzzles’ • This is merely the catalyst to deeper conversation.
The strategy is more suited to fiction texts • It is important to find a suitable text at the appropriate interest and reading level for the small group of students participating. • Students should have some choice over the selection of the text • Students can negotiate how much of the text is to be read between ‘meeting’ sessions
Follow up? • Weekly ‘journal’ entries • Writing about the main question from the discussion in a response format • Decide on a way to ‘share’ the book with other groups (poster, play, book ‘trailer’) • Follow up with related texts.