As students settle into their seat at the bell, I welcome the and wish them a "Happy National Chocolate Covered Anything Day" and what they favorite chocolate-covered anything is. After a few responses, I shift focus to any questions students have on the literature circle assignments.
As always, sharing the Daily Holiday serves to engage the students and build a sense of ownership in the class. As with "National Cocoa Day," I ask students to keep Holden's attitude toward food in mind, as it's very revealing about his health concerns, both mentally and physically.
Before students move to work independently today, I remind them the big idea for this section of the reading is to note how Holden's trip has gone from leaving Pencey and heading home, to circling back over familiar places, as he starts to spiral downward, mentally and physically.
The responses to their literature circle assignments should reflect Holden's development. Students especially focus on how he relates to other characters, develops the plot of the story through his actions, and reveals the themes through his relationships and interactions: adulthood/growing up, elitism/prejudice, and trust (RL.9-10.3).
As with previous literature circle work days, students spend a part of the class period reading and completing their role assignments for Chapters 16-20 of "Catcher in the Rye" at their own pace. Students will be working with the next assignment in the rotation; previous Discussion Directors will be working independently on the Connector assignment, previous Connectors will be working on the Character Sorter assignment, etc. (See "Catching onto Holden: Independent SSR & Role Assignments".) In order to ensure focus, students are permitted to move around the room, sit on the floor or in a different chair, and read to themselves. Despite the fact they will ask, students are not permitted to put on headphones and listen to music, as often this creates a distraction while reading. Students working on the Discussion Director, Connector, and Character Sorter roles will be seeking strong and thorough textual support in order to support their analysis of the novel and draw inferences from it (RL.9-10.1), students working on the Illustrator role are specifically seeking to draw inferences from the novel in order to illustrate a scene or concept (again, RL.9-10.1) and students who are working on the Vocab Finder role will be seeking to understand words in context, verifying the meaning of terms from the vocab list and using the terms appropriately (RL.9-10.4). Students will be working independently in order to take ownership for the material and seek ways to come to their own understanding of it.
Students are working independently to ensure they gain ownership of, and take responsibility for, the material assigned. Every student works at a different pace, every student appreciates reading in a different manner. Providing students this time to work allows them to work at their own pace and comfort level, but also to have me available if they have any questions or need any clarification, either about the novel, literature circle assignments, or the board game project (see lesson: "Board Game Project: Introduction & Planning").
As students work, I will circulate the room to offer advice, answers, clarification, or focus as needed. I also identify the students who have been struggling; those whose grades have dipped into the "D" range, and take the time to conference one-on-one with them.
With two minutes remaining in class, I call the students back to their seats. I remind students that anything they were unable to finish in class today is homework, and I ask them to be prepared for discussion tomorrow. As I monitor their progress throughout class today, there is no exit assignment.