"Once you learn to read, you will forever be free," said Frederick Douglass. In our reading workshop, we help students unlock other worlds and knowledge and to read with their "minds on fire." The reading curriculum model we use comes out of The Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University Teachers College and Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study for Teaching Reading (3-5). For more information, please visit: http://tc.readingwritingproject.com.
Structure of Reading Workshop
Mini-lesson: The teacher instructs a reading skill focusing on fluency, word attack, or comprehension. Then students practice the strategy with their partners. The lesson lasts ten minutes to ensure students are actively engaged and have enough time for independent reading.
Independent Reading: Research shows that children who read books at their level for an hour a day improve their reading. That is why students read for approximately 30 minutes in school and at home. As students read silently, they are required to write stickies about their thinking and practice using the reading strategies. For chapter books, students will generally write one or two quality post-its per night.
Conferences: As students read silently, the teacher is actively meeting with individual students for several minutes to practice fluency and reading comprehension strategies.
Small Group Instruction: At times during independent reading, the teacher will gather a small group of 3-5 students to work on a common skill focusing on fluency, comprehension, or guided reading.
Partnerships: As a community of learners and readers, students are assigned a partner at their approximate reading level to practice reading strategies during lessons, share interesting books, and set reading goals. Partners may stay the same throughout the year or may change based on interest and reading level.
Classroom Library: Our classroom library houses a variety of children’s trade literature in fiction and nonfiction. Students borrow books from the library each week to read during school and at home. Students are required to return books and keep them in the best condition they can. Students should have 2-3 books in their reading baggies at all times.Assessment
For report cards and for setting goals for students, we use a variety of assessment tools in reading workshop.
Stickies: As students read, they stop and write stickies to share their thinking and practice different reading skills such as (envisioning, predicting, inferring, thinking, and connecting). These stickies give the teacher how the student is using the strategy.
Reading Assessments: Several times a year, teachers administer a running record test, which assesses students on their fluency and comprehension. Then students are assigned a reading level that is their “just right” level. The levels are assigned letters from A-Z.
Reading Spiral Notebook: This notebook is a collection of long-writes, vocabulary words, and stickies from their books.
Reading logs: Each night, students are responsible for logging the books they read, the times they read, and have a parent signature. Reading logs serve as a record of reading homework and also help students set goals for their reading.