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Home : 2005 : Mar : 15

    Readers Workshop
    By Jaime

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    I use readers in my classroom starting the first day of school. I start my workshop with a stratagy lesson that often gives the children a job or something to think abotu while reading (write a meaningful text to self connection, mark a page where you have a strong visual image, list words that you have to infer the meaning of). After a mini lesson my children then independently read for 30-45 minutes. During this time they are reading out of their own book basket.

    Every Friday they choose "just right" books to fill their basket for the following week. I have good sized classroom library with fiction, nonfiction, and poetry shelves. The fiction and nonfiction are sorted by GRL into buckets. Series are kept together by cardstock dividers. The poetry shelf has song baskets, easy poetry, funny poetry, serious poetry, and some other baskets. The children are able to easily return books to the correct spots on Friday and locate new books. This just involves direct instruction at the start of the year.

    Attached to their basket is their reading toolkit (see a post from a few days ago about this). We then end readers workshop with a 5 minute partner talk and a "wrap up" (I do not use the word share). Sometimes everyone says something, sometimes I ask one child to share something from a confernece, and sometimes I share observations. While the children are reading I pull stratagy groups and do individual conferences.

    At the start of the year I have the children sit at tables during IR(indpendent reading). I group the children into groups who are of similar reading level. In the middle of the table I put a bucket of books for them to choose from. I include lots of song books (Who stole the cookies, Little Rabbit..)that I sing with them often. During the first week or two I figure our an approximate GRL from the books in the basket they are reading after they have been off that summer. I then stock their personal baskets for them for the few weeks while they learn the rules on IR time. For example, sIt in one good place the whole time (I let my kids sit where ever they want, within reason). We make rubrics about expectations of readers workshop etc...

    This is getting really long, so my suggestion is read Debbie Miller (Reading With Meaning) and Lucy Calkins (The art of teaching reading). They are my bible for reading instruction! They go into lots of details about the things I am talking about.

    Good luck! My kids love their reading time and beg for more everyday! Let me know if there are more specific questions you have. Hope this helps, a little!

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