Assessment and Evaluation of Literature Circles

Most teachers assess and evaluate what students do in Literature Circles. This may involve one or several of the following assessment(s) and evaluation(s):

        Students should be involved in monitoring and recording their own level of response and engagement with their book and participation with their group as they meet each session. Often formal checklists are used for students to keep track of their progress.

    Peer Assessment
        Students can also be empowered to assess their fellow group members over the course of their book talks. As with self-assessment, checklists or other rubrics can provide structure.

        On-going teacher observation and active participation in group discussions is critical in assessing student progress both individually and in whole group. Daniels (1994) notes that most assessment should be formative, ensuring that students are provided with timely feedback to learn more effectively. Observations can meet such formative assessment criteria.

        Face-to-face conversations between student and teacher can help to "access, track and monitor student growth" (Daniels, 1994, p. 160).

        Collections of student products, collected and assembled in a meaningful fashion, provide the opportunity for reflection, discussion, response to the book, and displaying a student's best work. Portfolios can take on many forms, ranging from writing, art, video/audiotapes, learning logs, student journals, personal responses etc. (Daniels, 1994).

    Extension Projects
        Extension Projects can take the form of numerous creative and artistic student products, from book jackets to visual media or printed forms. Projects provide readers with "additional ways to revisit what they've read, continue the conversations (and the discoveries), and create even more meaning" (Schlick Noe & Johnson, Literature Circles Resource Center). More conversations about the books usually arise out of sharing of these projects with the group and the whole class.

    Student Artifacts
        Response logs, role sheets, and other process material that students have compiled over the course of the Literature Circle meetings can be also evaluated providing "a rich source of insight" (Daniels, 1994, p. 164) for the teacher to assess growth and progress of students.