Within the writing circle
|There may be no more than five members in a group. Not everyone will get to share each meeting and everyone must fill in a discussion meeting sheet when a work-in-progress is being discussed.|
|Members of the writing circle may explore a topic that will build on their own writing. For example the group may find writing resource books and share them. One person in the group may find an article about strong leads and another find one about strong endings. They bring this to the group and share. Then the group may practice rewriting the beginning and ending of their piece. Next circle meeting they would share their old and new writing.|
|The discussion leader keeps the discussion flowing and uses the tracking sheet. [I gave these out]|
|Setting specific times and days will help keep you on task.|
|All Group members must fill in the discussion sheet for the member they are listening to that day.|
|Writing circle must focus on pieces of writing from brainstorming to polished work.|
|You may post on line- this is a safe site for kids. Writer's Circle|
Strategies to use in the circle to respond to other's work.
During circle all authors need to read a part of their piece out loud.
Always begin the discussion with a positive tone. Boost the writer up by drawing attention to something that the author did well. Say: "On page 2 the action really got me interested. Maybe that scene could go before the description on page one."
"When you described the ocean, I liked how you wrote 'up and up then down and down over the large wave". It really made me feel I was there.
While an author is reading you must concentrate and never interrupt or talk to someone else in the group. It is important that you are aware of every word the author speaks. You may even jot notes down so that you will remember what you want to say to the author. Make sure you feel and see what was written. If you don't then you need to talk to the author about sensory images and showing not telling.
|Be tactful but truthful
Someone in the circle may want to point out that the opening scene didn't catch the reader's attention. Then the speaker may let the writer know when he/she did get interested in what the author was writing. Gently suggest this may be the 'opening' of the piece of work.
|Don't tell the writer
what to write
You must refrain from suggesting specific words, and plot ideas to your peers. Reacting to what has been written is best if students listen with an open mind. Resist the urge to correct the writing. It is the writer who decides the focus and direction of a piece of writing. It is the listeners job to comment on general things within the writing that seemed out of place, [organization] or did not catch the interest of the listener in some way.
|Don't get into Grammar
Because during circle you are listening, this should avoid any issues of trying to correct spelling. However, reading aloud benefits the writer most, because when you read aloud, you begin to notice when you need commas, because you naturally take a breath. You can spot awkward sentences and spelling mistakes. You should circle these as you read so you can go back and correct them later.