Literacy Workshop

 

 


Literacy Workshop

Our classroom literacy instruction consists of speaking, listening, viewing activities, word study, and workshops for reading and writing.

Word Study

We have daily oral and written practice with letters and letter sounds, instruction and practice of phonics, spelling, grammar, and handwriting.  We use the Words Their Way curriculum, which provides time for students to develop a deep understanding of phonics and spelling.  After spending the week working on one lesson, the students take the work home for homework.

Readers' Workshop

Reading instruction takes place with the whole class, small groups, partners, and individual students. 
~ Development of reading strategies is the focus of this time. 
~ Guided reading in small groups or with individual students utilizes leveled books.
~ During the independent reading portion of the workshop, students read books assigned in small group as well as Just Right Books - books they select that can be read without help.  Our classroom has over 3,000 Just Right Books, all leveled so that student's can easily pick out books that interest them, both fiction and non-fiction.

Structure of our Readers' Workshop

Minilesson - The teacher instructs the whole class on a skill, strategy, or habit that students need to learn and use during independent reading.  A mini-lesson connects to a previous lesson, ongoing unit of study, student work or student experience.  The teaching point is stated clearly and demonstrated or modeled.  Students are actively engaged in trying out the skill or strategy, watching a demonstration, or planning work out loud.

Independent Reading  -During Independent Reading, students read all the books in their plastic book bags, including books assigned in small group as well as the three Just Right Books.  They are  also responsible for writing in their reading logs and the Reading Response Journals, where they respond to the text.

Shared Reading

Shared reading allows students to participate in reading material that may be  beyond their reading levels.  The teacher models a reading strategy to the whole class using enlarged text (ex. big books, basal anthology story, morning message on chart paper, Smart board message).  Students all have access to and can interact with the text.

Read Alouds

The teacher reads a selection to the class from a book, magazine, poem or other print material for a specific purpose.  It's an opportunity for teachers to model reading fluency and reading/writing strategies.  This can be done at any part of the school day:

~ To begin/end your day - intended for enjoyment 
~ During a reading mini lesson - to model thinking aloud 
~ During a writing mini lesson - to study an author's craft 
~ During other content area subjects to support the content area, teach unique features of expository texts,  teach children how to apply comprehension strategies when reading in the content areas. 
~ During a genre study - read many examples of the genre being studied  
~ To introduce an author study - read variety of books by same author  
~ To encourage rich conversations about books - whole group share, turn and tell or think/pair/share. 

Guided Reading

Guided reading is designed to help students learn how to problem solve increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.
The teacher works with small groups of students reading at similar levels, selects and introduces texts to readers, supports individual students as they read instructional level texts and engages the readers in a discussion after reading.

Students are grouped and regrouped according to ongoing observation and assessment by the teacher.  The amount of support given by the teacher varies with the reading skill of students in a group.   Each child is responsible for problem solving the entire text (or portion of it if reading a longer book) with support from the teacher as needed.  

Reading Conferences

While the children are reading independently, the teacher provides direct instruction to a group of students (guided reading) or to individual students (conferences).  

Writers Workshop

Writers' Workshop has a similar format to Readers' Workshop.  It begins with a brief instructional lesson with the whole class and has time for students to write.  Students are thinking about writing, talking about writing, reading about writing, but mostly...  doing the writing during this time!  Writing Workshop includes instruction through shared, interactive, or independent writing, writing process, and grammar.

Structure of our Writers Workshop

Minilesson  
~ Teacher instructs the whole class on a skill, strategy, or habit that students need to learn and use during independent writing. 
~ The mini-lesson connects to a previous lesson, ongoing unit of study, student work or student experience. 
~ Teaching point is stated clearly and demonstrated or modeled.  
~ Students are actively engaged in trying out the skill or strategy, watching a demonstration, or planning work out loud.

During the writing time, the teacher has brief instructional conferences with individual students. This is an important aspect of differentiated instruction, as the teacher can address individual needs at this time.

We share our writing once a week.  Students go through their writing portfolios and select a piece they wish to share with the class. They get to sit in the teacher chair at the front of the class, use a microphone, and share their work.  Students look forward this all week!