In our classroom, we will be doing Literature Circles.  It enables the students to be able be more in charge of their learning while still having instruction from me!  The students will meet in small groups with me once a week.  They are informed each week when their assignment is due and it is also posted in the classroom for them to review each day.  Every now and then, there are students that loose their Literature Circle packets.  Below are some links just in case your kiddo can't find their packet!  This way they will always have their assignment ready!


Did your child lose their Literature Circle packet?  No problem!  Just download a copy from the links below.



Making Connections

We are learning how to make connections to text we read to help us understand what we read. When we make connections, we relate new ideas in a text to what we already know. There are three kinds of connections, text to self, text to text, and text to world. In text to self, we relate ourselves to the text. In text to text, we relate something we have read to the text. In text to world, we relate something going on in the world to the text.

At Home Activity- What Do You Know?

Choose an informative T.V. show to watch with your child, such as a history or science show. Before the show begins, ask your child to tell you all he or she knows about the topic. Then discuss questions that might be answered by the program. After the show, discuss the information presented. Ask: Did it answer any questions or was it mostly information already known? How did the new information relate to the information that was already known? Have fun making connections with your child!


Determine Importance

We are learning how determining importance can help us understand what we read. When we determine importance, we think about the information we read and decide if it is important or just interesting.

At Home Activity- News or Not?

Invite your child to read an age-appropriate magazine with you. The Time for Kids magazines I send home would be great to use! Explain that some information in a magazine article is important and some is just interesting. Remind your child that this also happens in books that he or she reads. Ask your child to write down all of the important pieces of information in the article while you write down all of the less important pieces. When you've finished your lists, discuss the information. Is there any disagreement over which information is important and which is just interesting? Switch roles with your child and repeat the excercise.




We are learning how inferring can help us understand what we read. When we infer, we combine what we read with what we already know to fill in the gaps.

At Home Activity- Use What You Know

Remind your child that we fill in gaps all the time. Say, Spot reaced up to her and covered her face in kisses. Ask your child to tell you what Spot is, how Spot felt, and how the person Spot ran to felt. As your child answers, point out that each of these responses is an inference. Discuss how each inference was made. Invite your child to pick a sentence from the middle of a book he or she has not read. Read the sentence aloud and then discuss what you can infer from this sentence.

10.  Have children choose their own books as soon as they start showing a preference for one over another

9.  Find the children's section of your local library.  Get to know the librarian, who can be a great resource.

8.  Find out what your child is interested in, and help choose books that are related to his or her interests.

7.  Ask friends, family, and teachers what books their children have enjoyed;  try to book swap.

6.  If your child does not like a book you are reading together, put it away.  Reading is a fun time to share, not a time to fight.

5.  Again, again, again!  Children may want to read the same book many times, even if you think they have outgrown it.

4.  Use book lists generated by various literacy organizations;  they usually have good suggestions.  For example:  American Library Association, International Reading Association, Children's Book Guild

3.  Look for books that you will like reading aloud.  Your enjoyment will shine through and become contagious.

2.  Try out different kinds of books to see what appeals to your children.

1.  Have fun!  Show your children the joy of reading and how it can open up a brand new world!


Creating Images

We are learning how creating images can help us understand what we read. When we create images, we think about how something we read might look, sound, feel, smell, and taste to paint pictures in our minds.

At Home Activity- Painting Pictures

Remind your child that, when we read, words are the tools that help us paint pictures in our minds about what is happening. Some words are more descriptive than others.. Say, Stephen sank to his knees, bent his head, and covered his face. Ask your child to tell you, in more detail, about the image he or she  has created in his or her mind. What might Stephen's expression look like? What sounds might he make? How might someone feel who sees Stephen? Discuss how creating these kinds of images can help readers better understand what they read.

You can also connect this activity to their writing. When your child is writing a story for fun or to a prompt for Language, ask him or her to use the acitivy above to remind them to paint a picture using words for their readers.


Using Fix-Up Strategies

We are learning how using fix-up strategies can help us understand what we read. We use fix-up strategies when we are stuck on a word to try and figure out the word's meaning.

At Home Activity- In the News

Have your child pick a news article from the paper that looks interesting. Read it aloud to your child, or have him or her read it aloud to you. When your child comes to a word that he or she doesn't know, circle it. If the word has parts, have your child break the word down and sound it out. Reread the sentence and the three or four sentences that follow it. Discuss what the word might mean based on the information around the word. Explain that the information surrounding a difficult word can often help you identify the word's meaning. Have fun using fix-up strategies with your child!



We are learning how synthesizing can help us understand what we read. When we synthesize, we bring ideas together to form new ideas.

At Home Activity: Kitchen Recipe

Invite your child to help you cook a dish with different ingredients. Help your child gather the ingredients and follow the steps of the recipe. As you are preparing the dish, explain that cooking is a lot like synthesizng information in a text: you bring things together to make something new. Discuss how the dish would be different if certain ingredients were left out. Have fun synthesizing in your kitchen!



Monitor Understanding

In class, we are learning how monitoring understanding can help us when we read. When we monitor understanding, we regularly check our understanding and make adjustments as needed.

At Home Activity: Checking In

Invite your child to watch you perform a complicated task with many steps, such as fixing a care, baking an elaborate dessert, or repairing something in your home. Do not explain what you're doing in each step. Instead, encourage your child to pay close attention, ask questions, and even request that you slow down so he or she can better understand what you're doing. Check in with your child several times during the activity, asking him or her to explain what you're doing. Remind your child that monitoring our understanding helps us when we read. Have fun monitoring your understanding!


Asking Questions

In class, we are learning how asking questions can help us understand what we read. When we ask questions, we use our curiosity to think about questions that come to mind as we read.

At Home Activity: Now I Get It

Pick out an age-appropriate magazine article for your child to read. The Time for Kids that is sent home would be great to use! Tell your child the title. Ask him or her to write down one question he or she has about the article before he or she sees it. Encourage your child to write down two or three more questions while he or she reads the article. After your child has finished reading the article, read the questions aloud and discuss the answers the article provided. Discuss with your child how asking questions while reading helps us understand what we read. Have fun asking questions to all sorts of things you read!