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    Teachers College Reading workshop
    By blbteach

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    The reading workshop model from the Teachers College at Columbia (and Lucy Calkins) is a little more rigorous than that. It starts with a mini lesson with a very specific architecture/structure. You can get the nuts and bolts of it from Kathy Collins' book called Growing Readers. (easy read...very helpful!) After the mini lesson, the students read from their own bag of leveled books, and generally practice the skills taught in the mini-lesson. They read in these books from 15-25 minutes, (starting small and increasing the time through the year, sometimes as much as 45 minutes by the end of the year, depending on your schedule.) This is called private reading time. During P.R.T., the teacher conferences with children individually, and takes very specific notes. (Includes a compliment on what the child is doing well, an oral reading sample and some oral comprehension discussion, or a mini-running record, and then the teacher gives the child specific teaching points to make them a stronger reader) The teacher stops the private reading time at mid-point for another teaching point, and then the class moves into partner reading time, for an additional 10-15 minutes, which remains constant throughout the year. The Teacher's College advocates assigning long term partnerships based on reading level, to eliminate finding a partner each day. You do have to take some mini-lesson time in fostering those relationships though. This arrangement varies from teacher to teacher; Kathy Collins uses them for 4-5 months before switching them. During the partner reading time, teacher conferences with partners and documents the conversation. At the close of the workshop, there is a whole group share time, which is about 5 minutes. The entire workshop runs from 45-60 minutes, starting smaller in beginning of year, and then increasing. While Shared Reading and Read Alouds are part of the balanced literacy program, they are not connected to the block of time for reader's workshop. However, the the instructional skills for read aloud and shared reading connect to the mini-lessons for R.W. The teacher can choose to pull strategy groups, (guided reading) during the private reading segment, based on notes from previous conferencing. However, the goal is never to focus on reading with each group a certain amount of times each week, or a certain amount of groups in each day. It is totally based upon instructional needs. It is an awsome program, but it definitely takes the bulk of your reading instruction time if it is done correctly. The part I like about it is I am not creating work stations or managing behaviors around the room while I read with one small group...everyone is engaged at the same time. I would definitely check out Kathy Collins book; even if you decide not to do RW,there are so many great teaching points in there! Good Luck!

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