Stage 0: Foundation for Literacy
Stage 1: Beginning Literacy
Stage 2: Consolidation / Fluency
Oral Language & ELL
Select an object that will be used for turn-taking
For example: A stuffed animal
Invite students to join you in a circle
Review the group expectations
For example: Mutual Respect, Attentive Listening, No Put Downs and The Right to Pass
Introduce a topic or a sentence starter
For example: “I am grateful that...”
Model a complete sentence
Pass the object used for turn-taking around the circle and have each student share information related to the topic
English Language Learners/ESL:
- Prior to the community circle have the student practice his/her response - Allow other students to share ideas first as examples - Prompt the student if necessary
LD/Reading & Writing Difficulties:
- Repeat the expectations and topic throughout the activity - Keep instructions short
Cultural Appropriateness & Diversity:
- Select topics that are culturally inclusive - Allow students to share their own experiences and make personal connections to the topic - Hold a Community Circle regularly to promote an inclusive learning environment
- Record and display the sentence starter as a visual reference
Blomberg, G. (2011). The power of informal talk. Reading Teacher, 46, 460.
The goal of Community Circle: Fostering Oral Language Development is to use a method developed by Jeanne Gibbs to promote oral language development by modeling and encouraging spoken language that is purposeful and descriptive.
What You Need
- Select an object for turn-taking
- Teacher shares topic - Students share information related to topic
Teacher: - Turn-taking object
What You Do
Facilitator: - during sharing times
Whole class: - when teacher shares topic and students share information
- Use a checklist to track student participation and speaking and listening skills
- Take anecdotal notes following the Community Circle and track students ideas as well as oral communication skills
- Provide oral feedback to the whole class and make general comments and next steps related to students speaking and listening skills
- Hold a Community Circle on a regular basis and select a variety of topics a. For example: "One good thing that happened to me on the weekend...I wish...I hope that..."
- Have students share a goal that they would like to accomplish at school
- Use the Community Circle to introduce or review a subject or topic of study
- Have students select the topic by submitting a piece of paper with their topic of choice the day before
- The Community Circle is part of the Tribes Learning Community and fosters a safe and caring classroom where students feel included and appreciated by others. Making the Community Circle an important and regular part of your classroom will give all students an opportunity to share their thinking.
- Use different methods for sharing and taking turns, including a "talking stick" or a koosh ball.
- Strategically seat students who might need prompts or cues to refocus next to you