Updated: May 5, 2020
We have all heard of literature circles, heck I remember being in a literature circle at the age of 8. Picking a book, getting placed into a group, reading the book and discussing it along the way. Ever since I have seen the MAGIC of letting my students listen to podcasts, It has dawned on me that podcast groups needs to be a thing. I have tried it for the first time this year, and I must admit, I was obsessed from the start. I am going to walk you through the podcasts I let my students choose from, and how I got this whole thing started.
My class has been listening to Six Minutes and my students are obsessed! We simply listen whole group at the end of the day while they pack up and it is the perfect time. My students come in quietly and excited to find out what happens next. I modeled how to listen, and discuss. We then practiced each of the podcast group jobs together, so they knew exactly what to do. When it came time for my students to pick their podcast groups, I played each of the trailers so they could get a feel for what each podcast was like. They then voted on a google form and I just placed them in the group they wanted.
Podcasts I had my kids vote on were: Mars Patel, The Ghost of Jessica Majors, Eleanor Amplified, and Grimm Grimmer Grimmest.
An easy way to set these groups up was to create a Google Classroom for each of my groups. I love it because only the kids in the group are in the classroom, and I can view what is going in all of them. I can easily post assignments and mediate discussions. I simply allowed students to post and comment and have it mandatory for them to post their job, and then comment on two other posts. You can also have your students create a "blog" via google sites to type out their responses.
Student jobs: Summarizer, Content Connector, Background Boss, Discussion Director, and scene Selector.
Week at a Glance
Monday: Students get their assignment and listen to their episode for the week. Students pick their job. They post their job response to the episode.
Tuesday: They come up with questions and discuss the episode.
Wednesday: They comment/ respond to classmates
Thursday: They respond to a question that I post on their classroom
Friday: Free write about anything pertaining to the episode
I give the students about 30 minutes first thing in the morning ( I am working with an RTI group during this block) and I feel like it gives my students something meaningful/fun to do while I am with my group. They look forward to it each week and for many, it is their favorite time of day!