Literature Circle Fish Bowls

Class began with independent reading as I checked in each student’s literature circle task. Remember: it is vital to your group’s success that you are completing your tasks and completing them well!

Our discussions were a little different today. Instead of everyone discussing at the same time, four groups discussed while the other four observed one of the groups. The observing group was in charge of tracking the discussion moves of one of the participants inside the “fishbowl.” They used this handout to do that and to reflect on their partner’s strengths and areas of improvement when it comes to discussion. After one group was finished discussing, the groups switched, so everyone had a chance to discuss and receive feedback.

As groups discussed, I listened in or chatted with the observers about what they were seeing. A general consensus was that the sum it up move is not happening as much as it should. Students often agree or disagree with each other, but they do so in vague terms by saying, “I agree with you because…” Well, what is it specifically that you are agreeing with? By changing your response pattern to “I agree with your point about ______ because ______,” then you are showing you are listening through summing it up, and you are bouncing because you are adding onto what someone says. This is what we will work to target during our next literature circle discussion.

We ended the class by announcing the winners of the March Madness Book Bracket. Many people picked the winning book, Ready Player One! Also, we watched part of CNN10.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Complete your literature circle reading/task by the start of class on TUESDAY.