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Wonder: A Literature Circle for Upper Elementary Students/Middle School Students

Students will read the moving book "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio and participate in a Literature Circle based book club discussion, rotating responsibilities and presenting their findings to the group.
Mrs. Russell, M.S. Ed.
349 total reviews for this teacher
New class
Class
60 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 7 weeks
9-14
year olds
4-8
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

Available Times

Pacific Time

Mon Sep 12

Sep 12 - Oct 24 (7 weeks)
Mondays
6pm - 7pm
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Description

Class Experience

The students will...
-discuss a piece of literature in depth. The discussion is guided by students' responses to what they have read. You may hear talk about events and characters in the book, the author's craft, or personal experiences related to the story. 
-engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, discuss, and respond to books. 
-collaborate, collaboration is at the heart of this approach. Students reshape and add onto their understanding as they construct meaning with other readers. 
-be guided toward deeper understanding of what they read through structured discussion and extended written and artistic response.

Discussion facilitator
This role involves developing a list of questions that the group might discuss about the section of the novel to be discussed for that meeting. Questions should be designed to promote lively conversation and insights about the book; they should be open questions. A person with this task asks these questions of the group to prompt discussion; overall, the job is to keep the group talking and on-task. Questions that a student might ask could be: "What was going through your mind when you read this passage?" or "How did the main character change as a result of this incident?"

Commentator
This role involves locating a few significant passages of text that are thought-provoking, funny, interesting, disturbing, or powerful. The quotations are copied down with properly cited page numbers. A student with this task can read the passages out loud him/herself or ask other group members to read as well. Commentary and discussion will be generated from these passages. and also draw a part of the scene that locates where the person took place

Illustrator
As the term implies, this job entails drawing, sketching, or painting a picture, portrait or scene relating to the appropriate section of the novel. Collages from magazines, images from the internet, and other media can also be used. The student with this role then shares the artwork with the group, explaining the passage(s) that relate to the art. Often students who do not like to write do very well with this role. The pictures usually generate interesting group conversations.

Connector or Reflector
This role involves locating several significant passages in the novel and connecting these passages to real life. The connections might relate to school, friends or family, home, the community, or they might relate to movies, celebrities, the media etc. Students should also feel free to connect incidents or characters with other books that they have read. Of all the roles, this role is often the most personal in its focus.

Summarizer
This role involves preparing a brief summary of the reading that was assigned for that day's meeting. The summary should include the main ideas or events to remember, major characters, symbols or other significant highlights of the passage. Good summarizers are important to literature circles, as they can help their peers see the overall picture (DaLie, 2001). Also include important events and details.

Vocabulary Enricher
Also called the Word Master or Word Wizard, this role is to record important words for that day's reading. Words that are unusual, unknown, or that stand out in some way are usually chosen by the student. Their page number and definition is also recorded. Often students do not see this role as particularly stimulating; however, it can be a role suited to students who are still developing confidence in English classes or textual analysis.

Travel Tracer
This role involves recording where the major shifts in action or location take place in the novel for the reading section. Keeping track of shifts in place, time, and characters helps students keep track of important shifts in the novel. Artistic students also are drawn to this role, as artwork can be incorporated into this role as well. The student's role is to describe each setting in detail, using words or maps that illustrate the action.

Investigator
This role includes investigative work where background information needs to be found on any topic relating to the book. Historical, geographical, cultural, musical or other information that would help readers connect to the novel is often researched and shared with the group. The research is informal in nature, providing small bits of information in order that others can better understand the novel.

Figurative language finder
This role includes identification of various types of figurative language, including but not limited to simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, and idiom. This may lead to discussion about the author's craft - why the author chose to use those particular words or phrases, and whether or not they were effective. This in-context identification can be more relevant and memorable than isolated instruction by the teacher of these types of tools.
My name is Carie Beth Russell.  I live in the Kansas City area with my husband, two daughters, two cats and new puppy.  I am a former elementary teacher and gifted education specialist.  I have been “home” since my second daughter was born, but have remained active in the field of education by teaching educational summer camps, tutoring and teaching at a homeschool enrichment program. 

My professional priorities center around student-led learning.  It’s my strong conviction that supporting children as they learn, rather than dictating how and what they learn, is the way to encourage their inborn patterns of curiosity, wonder and problem-solving that will serve them well in all stages of being human.  

While my own children attend public school, we very much view education as something we own and must take personal responsibility for.  We work hard at educational advocacy within the public school context.  I teach my daughters to communicate with their teachers, ask for what they need and request amended or extended: depth, duration and scope of projects, units, skills and personal areas of interest.  

Gifted Education services often provide these things for students who have been identified as such, but these standards and the definition of “giftedness” vary from state to state, based generally on funding, and doesn’t allow for many students to qualify.  This leaves an enormous group of students who have “need of different” but no access to a more open-ended and curiosity-led education.  Please understand that when I say enormous, I mean ALL.  

Out School, and other platforms like it, allow students who are enrolled in public schools to adapt their learning modalities and pursue interests and learning pathways that intrigue their own very unique minds.  Teaching students to participate in Student Led Learning, in its various formats, allows them to continue on in their own investigations of an amazing planet and human experience, studying past, present and future as they forge their own distinct path. 

*All class times are approximate. Class length varies based on student ability and number of enrolled learners. Classes are designed so that they will not run longer than the time allotted.*

*Late/Missed Class Policy* All courses will begin on time as long as one learner is in the classroom. In the event that no students are in the classroom at the assigned class time, the teacher will leave a message on the discussion board and exit after 10 min. Class recordings are available upon request.

*Documents shared by the teacher are only to be used within the context of the class for which the student is enrolled.  You do not own the rights to these documents.  Do not share or distribute, as this would be in violation of the copyright.  
You will be asked to read approximately 45 pages per week and complete your "job" in order to be ready to present to the group each week.  
Documents will be provided by the teacher and printed by the student in preparation for class. A copy of the book: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B0051ANPZQ&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_MrFSDbYE8GP1T
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
  • Google Classroom
1 hour per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
This book deals with the themes:  physical differences, special needs, social isolation and bullying.  
Link to the Common Sense Media description:  (copy and paste into your browser)
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/wonder

Google Docs/Slides:  Google Docs is the way that your child will access their assignments.  These assignments may be: printed out and completed "pen to paper", completed digitally by typing in text boxes on an electronic form of the document, or by creating a google slides presentation.  The response format is up to you and your child and may change each week depending on what feels the most fun, creative and the best use of time.  

Teacher

Mrs. Russell, M.S. Ed.
🇺🇸
Lives in the United States
Former public general education teacher and gifted education specialist
349 total reviews
149 completed classes

About Me

Hello and Welcome!

About me:
My name is Carie Beth Russell.  I am the mother of two teenagers, an elderly cat and a forever puppy.  I live in the Midwest region of the United States with my family.  

I am a former public elementary school... 
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