Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Reader's Workshop Basics


I am here today to tell you all about Reader's Workshop!

I love reading hasn't always been my favorite part of the day. 

I have tried many different things during my reading block over the course of the past five years.....The Daily Five/CAFE, Imagine It/Basal Readers, and a combination of everything in between.  Recently, I tried out Reader's Workshop and have settled on it because IT WORKS!

This past week I was fortunate to learn from some of the best professional developers in the country on this topic.  It was a great week of review and a chance to go more in depth with Reader's Workshop.

I am here to tell you all about Reader's Workshop.  Let's get started.  Shall we?

Reading Workshop Must Do's:
- Five times a week
- Mini Lesson (about 10 minutes....yikes!)
- Conferring, assessing, and/or small group lessons
- Private reading time (read to self with just right books)
- Partner reading time (with like ability partners)
- Teaching Share

Management tip: before you start your workshop, say "readers, prepare!" along with any instructions you might need to give your students before you start your mini lesson.  It is helpful to have materials on desks, ready to go.  This will save us precious transition time when we move from the carpet to our read to self spots.  If you need students to bring a book to the carpet for the mini lesson, you can ask them at this time as well.

Let me give you the run down on the structure: 

Making time for Reader's Workshop is essential.  You need at least 45 minutes (1 hour is ideal) in order to fit it all in!  The first thing to think about when transitioning to Reader's Workshop is finding a chunk of 45 consecutive minutes.  

Now, let's dive into each piece of the pie.

Mini Lesson:

We start on the carpet with the whole class.  We teach a brief, focused lesson. We use a very specific structure to our lesson in order to promote gradual release of responsibility.

- Connection
- Teaching Point
- Active Engagement
- Link

Reading Time:

After the mini lesson, we send our students off to go practice the work we just taught them.

We call this time Private Reading time or Read to Self.

We can give students books to read that promotes their independence.  These books should be within their independent reading level and can be kept in a book bag or book box for easy management.

As students are reading to themselves, the teacher can be assessing, conferring, or working with a small group of students.

The second part of the reading work time involves Partner Reading.

During this time, we want to pair up students who have similar reading levels.  The partners can read together and talk about their text.

Share Time:

We bring the students together back on the rug for a final share time.  As the teacher, we can share what we noticed during a conference, teach a new skill, or review the day's teaching point.

The goal of Reading Workshop is to teach the READER.  We want our readers to grow and learn.  In order to do this, it is important for us think about what avid readers do every day.

Stay tuned for more on Reading Workshop!
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