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How to Get MORE Out of Literature Circles with Weekly Assignments FREEBIE Included

If you’re reading this, I hope this means you have already read my post on, “How to Set Up Literature Circles in the Upper-Grade Classroom,” as well as the post on, “How to Keep Students Focused and Accountable During Literature Circle Discussions.” If not these are great places to start. If you also find yourself thinking I’m not here for information on setting up Literature Circles… Don’t go anywhere. These Strategy Focused bookmarks and student response pages are so extremely accommodating, their application and potential in the classroom go far beyond Literature Circles.

The idea for these strategy focused activities originated with my Literature Circle Groups. My set-up for Literature Circle groups evolved over the years, each year getting a little better, a little more effective, and a little more streamlined. What began as a weekly bookmark | summary and a letter to the teacher about what you read and the strategies used written in a reader’s notebook, eventually led to google classroom submissions, and finally to the finished product|program were going to explore in this blog post: Strategy Based Bookmarks and Strategy Based Digital Reading Responses.

Benefits Behind the Bookmarks and Digital Response Pages:

  1. These activities can be used with any text. Specifically fiction, novels, and digital reading passages. This allows you to use them again and again. Based on the text assigned you can easily differentiate amongst your students and apply rigor.
  2. These activities are editable through Google Drive. You can easily and quickly edit the text to your classroom’s needs, or alter the text to include more text-specific questions. The Active Reading Strategies are also editable in a way that you can completely customize the activities by moving different sections in and out of the response area.
  3. Use hard copies in the classroom, or assign the Digital Version Student Response pages in Google Classroom. Whether you start in the classroom, as a hybrid model, or distance learning classroom, you won’t skip a beat moving from one type of learning to the other. These pages are made to accommodate your unique needs as a teacher.
  4. By focusing student’s reading assignments on a single strategy you simplify your planning. Teach a whole class mini-lesson on the strategy of the week, practice together, then allow students to work independently with an appropriate text as they demonstrate the modeled strategy. This simplifies your planning 10 fold, while still allowing you to differentiate to your student’s needs.
  5. By focusing on a single strategy classroom discussions can be united and depth from different texts is added. No matter what text you are using, as long as the strategy is the same, students can connect, relate, and give great insight to a strategy that may have been one dimensional by only using a whole-class text.
  6. Active Reading Strategy Pages include my teaching notes, Elements of Fiction Pages include Anchor Charts. I’ve done my best to make the implementation of teaching these strategies through these products as seamless as possible. So much that I’ve included basically a script of how I introduce each active reading strategy (Editable text so you can make it your own) as well as a completed anchor chart that defines and gives examples of each Element of Fiction.
  7. The use and application of these pages are endless. Use these anywhere there is some type of reading assignment. Think ELA integration with History, Social Studies, or even use the Active Reading Strategies in Science. Use these as a Guided Reading lesson, Literacy Station Rotations, Whole-Class Novels, Classroom Book Clubs, or how they originated in weekly Literature Circle Assignments.
  8. This product is flexible across a large span of grade levels. Because it is text-dependent it can be used and implemented in grades as young as elementary looking to study chapter books or novels, to your middle school upper grades and High School Students.

Watch Video above for Preview of Making Connection Bookmark & Digital Student Response 

What’s Available

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Active Reading Strategies
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Elements of Fiction
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Watch the video above to preview everything included in the Mega Bundle.

How I use Them in the Classroom:

As was mentioned these originated as Strategy Focused Bookmarks that my students used during Literature Circles. At the beginning of a reading assignment. Students write the new reading assignment and due date at the top of the bookmark. We would do a quick lesson on the strategy we will be focusing on for the week, I like to follow the To, With, By model. Meaning I would introduce the strategy to them using a picture book. (High School | Middle School teachers… Don’t check out on me with the mention of a picture book. Big kids love picture books too, not to mention they are a WONDERFUL way to EASILY Integrate other subject material. If you can’t find a picture book or can’t bring yourself to picture book, find a brief reading passage instead! Model the strategy completely. This mini-lesson|introduction is done completely TO the students.  Notice with each strategy focused bookmark, I’ve included my personal notes with how I teach that specific strategy. This takes all the guesswork out for you and gives you a great base to start your discussion. Next, try applying the strategy to the remainder of a picture book or reading passage WITH your students. By the time you are done with this lesson students will be ready to work independently (BY) on their next assigned reading.

The Bookmarks lend themselves well to literature circle reading assignments or Classroom book clubs. Within the bookmarks, I’ve included strategy focused boxed activities. These boxes and the text within them can all be moved, manipulated, and edited to your own classroom needs. I’ve created these to be either printed double or single-sided.   These activities act as the assignment that corresponds with the reading that week. Students have the week to complete the reading and the Strategy Focused Bookmark Activities.

At the bottom of each bookmark and Digital Student-Response page is a scale of 1-10. This is a wonderful place to take a quick snap-shot assessment of your students. You can have them rate anything from their attitude towards the book to their effort of completing the assignment, to their understanding of the strategy they are focusing on for the week. To say I LOVE these bookmarks would be a complete understatement.

At the end of each week, I have students turn in their bookmarks and meet with their group to have a discussion on what was read. In order to keep their group discussions focused on the weekly strategy and meaningful, I created the Roll and Respond Activity. Click Here to Learn More about the Roll & Respond Pages and “How to Keep Students Focused and Accountable During Group Book Discussions.”

How to use in a Digital Learning Classroom:

Because of the need for resources that can be used in the regular classroom as well as adapted to a Distance Learning Classroom or Hybrid, I modified the bookmarks and created a Strategy Focused Digital Student Reading Response. Both are included in every Bookmark download. This allows you to use and assign these in a completely digital setting. If you are setting up Literature Circles to be completed through Distance Learning… WHICH I HIGHLY RECCOMEND. I still recommend printing off these bookmarks and giving them as a hardcopy to your students. I would include this in a packet and have students take a snapshot of the completed bookmark to show they have completed it. Each week I would hand out a new bookmark, with a new strategy to focus on while they complete the reading for the week, or handout every bookmark they would need with the start of a new novel! Maybe I’m old fashioned but I think something concrete like a book and a bookmark will help things feel a little more normal.

Mini-Lessons introducing the strategy for the week can be done easily over Zoom, Google Meet, or Screen Castify. If you want to go completely digital you can even assign the differentiated reading passages or assignments through Epic, Common Lit, Read Works, Newsela, or Freckle… Just to name a few of my favorite online resources for differentiated reading passages!

From these simply assign the specific Digital Reading Response through Google Classroom. To do so, begin by creating a student version of the slides. Once the Google Slide File is open, hold down the [control] or [command] key while you click on the slides your students will use.*** Only click on the slides you want students to see/use. Next, click on [File] then, [Make a Copy]. From there click on the [Selected Slides] option. Rename the file to include [Student Version] or something to that effect in the title. Then click OK. This will create a new copy of only the slides you selected and add it to your Google Drive. Making it EASY to assign these pages digitally or during distance learning.

Because the entire class is focused on the same strategy, having students respond to a strategy focused question, or having a group discussion can be really rewarding. Despite everyone using different texts, their response will be focused and just as meaningful to a student not reading the same text. Use the Digital Versions of the accompanying Roll and Respond Sheets to have students respond at the end of their reading assignment using digital tools like FlipGrid, Screen Castify, Zoom, or Google Meet! Click Here to Learn More about the Roll & Respond Pages and “How to Keep Students Focused and Accountable During Group Book Discussions.”

Give it a Whirl, Enjoy this Free Download:

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***Remember these downloads are for personal use only. Your membership is good for one license of each product, meaning sharing or emailing with a friend is strictly prohibited. However, telling a friend how to become a member and download on their own is warmly encouraged and very much appreciated!

Save Big with Bundles: Bookmarks, Digital Responses AND Roll & Responds

***Something to keep in mind, if you like the idea of using these in your classroom make sure to check out the Roll and Respond Pages. Both were made to be used in conjunction with the other.  Both activities are great on their own but are taken to a whole other level when used in a partnership. See options below to SAVE BIG by bundling!

Active Reading MEGA Bundle: Roll & Respond and Strategy Focused Activities

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Elements of Fiction MEGA Bundle: Roll & Respond and Strategy Focused Activities

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BIG BUNDLE: Element of Fiction & Active Reading Strategy Roll and Responds & Activity Pages

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Watch the video above to see what’s included in the BIG BUNDLE

If you liked this, make sure to check out these related posts! (Freebies Included)

   

All Bookmark Products include Editable Bookmarks AND Digital Student Responses

 Bookmarks & Digital Response BUNDLES:

Active Reading Strategies Bookmark & Digital Responses BUNDLE

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Elements of Fiction Bookmarks & Digital Responses BUNDLE

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Active Reading & Elements of Fiction Bookmarks & Digital Responses BUNDLE

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Individual Active Reading Strategies: Bookmarks & Digital Response

Summarizing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Questioning Bookmark & Digital Response

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Visualizing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Synthesizing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Making Predictions Bookmark & Digital Response

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Individual Elements of Fiction Bookmarks & Digital Response:

Character Bookmark & Digital Response

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Conflict Bookmark & Digital Response

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Elements of Fiction Bookmark & Digital Response

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Point of View | Voice Bookmark & Digital Response

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Setting Bookmark & Digital Response

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Story Map Bookmark & Digital Response

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Theme Bookmark & Digital Response

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If you’re interested in only purchasing the Digital Student Response Pages, Click Here!

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#generalconference is just around the corner! Snag the link to this FREE paper chain countdown in this week’s post💛 Each chain link includes a QR Code video to watch and complete each day to help your family spiritually prepare 🍋
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“There is a better way to prepare, because great faith has a short shelf life. We could decide to persist in studying the words of Christ in the scriptures and the teachings of living prophets. This is what I will do. I will go back to the Book of Mormon and drink deeply and often. And then I will be grateful for what the prophet’s challenge and promise did to teach me how to gain greater faith and maintain it.”
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Samuel risked it all.⁣

After being kicked out of Zarahemla, he returned to the hard-hearted Nephites, climbed that outer city wall, dodged arrows and stones, and put his life on the line to preach repentance and salvation through Christ.⁣

He prophesied that the Son of God would come to redeem “all those who shall believe on his name.” (Helaman 14:2)⁣
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Believe on His name.⁣

To “believe on His name” is really to believe on His 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴—and there are over 200 of them throughout the scriptures. Christ’s myriad titles perfectly capture who He is and who He can be in our lives if we’ll only believe. ⁣

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When we need an ally and a friend, He is our ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER.⁣

When we yearn for a constant in an ever-changing world, He is ALPHA AND OMEGA.⁣

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What’s in a name?⁣
What’s in 𝘏𝘪𝘴 name?⁣
Everything you and I will ever need.⁣
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What is your favorite title for Jesus Christ?
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*A beautiful, talented student at the school where I formerly taught created this artwork 👏🏼 Checkout @emma.st
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“As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. The honest in heart heed his words, but the unrighteous either ignore the prophet or fight him. When the prophet points out the sins of the world, the worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Many a prophet has been killed or cast out. As we come closer to the Lord’s second coming, you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them”

– President Ezra Taft Benson
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Excited to share these two FREE activities with you this week! So a chronological sort of the events as you read the account of #samualthelamanite or cut out the symbols that represent the signs Samuel mentioned, hide them, and then ”LOOK” for the signs! This is a great activity that lends well to a follow up discussion on looking for the signs of our Savior’s second coming 💛
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So very much of pure prayer seems to be the process of first discovering, rather than requesting, the will of our Father in heaven and then aligning ourselves therewith. […] When we do conform to His will, God will pour forth special blessings from heaven upon us, as was the case with Nephi, the son of Helaman” (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [1979], 93–94). Elder Neal A. Maxwell ...

The Lord loves effort. Even when our effort feels like it is next to nothing, or all we have left, it is something. I think I’m learning that the Lord not only loves effort, but through the enabling power of our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement… that effort can be consecrated and become more than what we ever had to give in the first place. Not only that but the Lord blesses us in our efforts. “When we do conform to His will, God will pour forth special blessings from heaven upon us…” I have felt this. In the tiniest ways, I have felt this.
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Read about my tender mercy on this week’s post.
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Loved this excerpt from the #comefollowme manual this week:
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Think about evidences that the Lord has given you. For example, maybe you haven’t literally heard the Lord’s voice, but have you felt “a whisper” from the Holy Ghost that “did pierce even to the very soul”? (Helaman 5:30; see also Doctrine and Covenants 88:66). Perhaps you’ve been in darkness, cried unto God for greater faith, and been “filled with that joy which is unspeakable” (Helaman 5:40–47).
What other experiences have strengthened your faith in Christ and His gospel?
Helaman 5:29–33: What experiences have we had with recognizing the voice of God in our lives?
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The language in Heleman 5:12 has always really intrigued me. Scriptures like this one can become really relevant by simply noticing a single word. In the case of this scripture that powerful word for me is When.

Do you see it? Did the verse become that much more powerful to you by simply paying attention to that single word?

Notice that the verse doesn’t read, “If the devil shall send forth his mighty winds,” or “If all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you…”. The language instead is when.

Hardships, trials, pain, discomfort, and all-out storms WILL come, no amount of righteous living can prevent them… However, if our foundations are firm, and built upon our Savior Jesus Christ… We will not fall. There is peace in that. There is promise in that. There is POWER in that.
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Weekly Round-Up of FREE resources to help with your study of #comefollowme is on the website! Link in profile🍋🍋 ...

Guys. I don’t even know where to begin.... Except be on the lookout for this fun little DIGITAL project to be added today!
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🍋Students come up with a One Word Goal for the school year/ first term...
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“It is not by chance that you have been reserved to come to earth in this last dispensation of the fulness of times. Your birth at this particular time was foreordained in the eternities. You are to be the royal army of the Lord in the last days. You are “youth of the noble birthright.” (Hymns, 1985, no. 255.) In the spiritual battles you are waging, I see you as today’s sons of Helaman. Remember well the Book of Mormon account of Helaman’s two thousand stripling warriors and how the teachings of their mothers gave them strength and faith. These marvelous mothers taught them to put on the whole armor of God, to place their trust in the Lord, and to doubt not. By so doing, not one of these young men was lost. (See Alma 53:10–23; Alma 56:41–56.)”. -President Ezra Taft Benson ...

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YOU GUYS. I am COMPLETELY swooning over this #teachingfromhome classroom setup! All the little details are speaking my love language💛 You’ve outdone yourself @how_i_teach_high_school
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For those of you teaching at home, what are your MUST HAVES??
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Comment below! Don’t forget to check out my latest posts for Digital Back to School activities for your UPPER GRADE Students!
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