The First 2 Weeks: Day One of Reading Workshop

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1 The First 2 Weeks: Day One of Reading Workshop Gather together in the meeting area. This might be on a large rug or in a corner of the room. Sit in a large circle. If possible, even the teacher sits on the floor in the circle. Tell students you will meet with them in the meeting area every day for a reading mini lesson. Explain that this is a special time to be together to share important information and learn more about what readers do. Introduce students to the classroom library. Some books are displayed on shelves, some in baskets. Explain to students how books are organized and how they should be taken out and returned. Teach, model and practice routines for independent reading time. As you discuss each guideline, write them on a chart titled, Guidelines for Reading Workshop. Explain that you will be adding to the chart later. (Examples of guidelines: You must always be reading a book or writing your thoughts about your reading. You need to work silently to enable you and your peers to do your best thinking. Use a soft voice when conferring with a teacher. Always do your best work.) Students choose books from classroom library and read independently as the teacher confers one-on-one with students. You might need to have a basket of books at each group of desks for students to look at while waiting for their turn to choose books from the classroom library. By the end of the day, all students should have 2-3 books in their independent reading bag. The independent reading bag can be a large Ziploc or any type of container which will hold several books of various sizes. During these first one-on-one conferences, the teacher is gathering information to get to know the child as a reader. She might ask questions such as: What types of books you enjoy reading? Where and when do you most enjoy reading? What do you want me to know about you as a reader? Record anecdotal notes in the child s reading folder. The class discusses how well they followed the Guidelines for Reading Workshop on the chart. Ask students for suggestions of ways the class can do better next time.

2 Day Two of Reading Workshop Discuss How Readers Choose Books and make a class chart. Tell students the types of books you look for when choosing a book. Then, ask students what they look for when choosing a book. Write their responses on the chart. Tell students you will leave this list on the wall because they may think of other ways readers choose books which can be added to the list. Reteach, model and practice the expectations for the work time (We must read quietly so everyone can think about what they are reading. We must all stay on task do our own job. We must talk quietly during one-on-one conferences). as readers. Determine how many students you will need to meet with each day in order to meet with each child one time this week. The class discusses how well they followed the Guidelines for Reading Workshop on the chart. Ask students for suggestions of ways the class can do better next time.

3 Day Three of Reading Workshop Discuss How to Choose Just-Right Books with students. Explain, Easy books are books that don t take a lot of effort for you to read and understand. These books are fun to read sometimes, but if you want to become a better reader, you will not want to spend most of your reading time reading these books. Challenging books are very difficult for you to read. You have trouble reading many of the words and don t understand most of what you re reading. These are books that are too difficult to enjoy right now, but you may find you will enjoy them later. You might choose a challenging book occasionally, such as when you are looking for information on a specific topic, but you will not want to choose these books often. If you want to become a better reader, you will need to spend most of your time reading just right books. These are books you understand well and can enjoy. You read the book smoothly and only have a few places where you need to slow down to figure out a word or think more about the meaning. These are the books you will need to choose most often. Write this information on a chart as you talk. Display the chart in the room so students can reference it when choosing books and you can reference it during one-on-one conferences with students. as readers. The class discusses how well they followed the Guidelines for Reading Workshop on the chart. The teacher asks how well they feel they are choosing just right books.

4 Day Four of Reading Workshop Mini Lesson (10-15 minutes) Explain, Sometimes readers choose a book to read and even after they have given it a good chance, they find they are not enjoying it. They re not interested in reading it anymore, and they want to stop. They may decide to read it later. When a reader stops reading a book, it s called abandoning the book. Let s talk about why readers might abandon books. Create a chart with students ideas as to why you might abandon books (e.g., too easy, too difficult, boring, expected something different, don t like the characters, too sad, etc.). Encourage students to think about the books they are reading. Are there any books they want to abandon? Have you given the book a chance yet? Why are you wanting to abandon it? Explain that it s okay to abandon a book sometimes if you have truly given it a chance and have good reasons for abandoning it. as readers. The teacher asks if anyone decided to abandon a book. If so, the child shares why he/she decided to abandon the book. You might choose to add a guideline to the Guidelines for Reading Workshop chart (e.g., Select books you think you ll enjoy and abandon books that aren t working for you after you ve given them a good chance).

5 Day Five of Reading Workshop Determine what notebook students will use for their reading journal. Is this a notebook they brought with their school supplies? Is it a notebook the school will provide to every grade level? Then, determine where you want students to keep a book log. Will this be on the last few pages of the notebook? Will it be a separate sheet that is stapled to the inside front or back cover? Explain, You have been reading many types of books. Readers sometimes keep a list of books they ve read so they can look back at their reading. We have a special notebook to help you remember the books you have read. You will be using your notebook to help with your reading. In one part of your reader s notebook, there will be a place for you to record the books you are reading. Show students where they will be recording the books they have read. Demonstrate filling out the book record on a chart or overhead transparency. The record should include: 1. Title 2. Author 3. Genre 4. Date book was completed Today, you will begin recording the book(s) you are reading in your reader s notebook. as readers. Students record the book(s) they are reading in reading notebook. Students bring their reader s notebook and a pencil to the meeting area. The teacher asks if anyone had trouble filling out the book record form. Some students might need help figuring out which genre they are reading or where to find the author s name. The teacher and students help answer each others questions. Consider adding a guideline to the Guidelines for Reading Workshop chart (e.g., List the book information when you begin and record the date when you finish).

6 Day Six of Reading Workshop Explain that reading is thinking. When I am reading, I am always thinking about what the author is saying and what it means. Today, pay attention to the details you notice. If you re reading a story, you might notice details about the characters, the setting, the events, the problem or the solution. If you re reading an informational book, you might notice interesting and important details about the topic. Today I want you to write down 1 or 2 things you are thinking about as you read today. You will write these thoughts in your reader s notebook. Show students where to begin writing their thoughts about what they read. Demonstrate this by recording your thoughts about a book you have been reading aloud to the class in your own reader s notebook. as readers. Students record 1 or 2 things they are thinking. During the one-on-one conferences, listen to the students read a small portion of the books they have chosen to see if they are choosing just right books. It s okay for students to occasionally choose a book that is too easy or too hard, but most should be just right. If the child is not choosing just right books, go over to the classroom library and choose books together. Think aloud as you help the child choose books, so they will know how to better choose books on their own next time. Students share the thoughts they recorded in their reading journal.

7 Day Seven of Reading Workshop Explain, Yesterday we talked about how readers think while they read, and you share the thinking you were doing as you read. When we talk with a partner or in a small group, we are going to call this a buzz. Let s talk a little bit about how we can buzz with each other well so we can do our best talking and learning. I ll write out thoughts on this chart. Record the students s suggestions on the chart, creating a simple, clear set of guidelines (e.g., One person talks at a time. The listeners look at the speaker. Listener listens to understand what the speaker is saying. When the speaker is finished talking, each listener shares thoughts or questions.) When we meet back together today, we will buzz in groups of three about what is capturing our interests in the books we are reading. Then, we ll use our chart to evaluate how well our buzz sessions are going. as readers. During the one-on-one conferences, the teacher listens to the child read a small portion of the books he chose to see if he is choosing just right books. Students buzz in groups of three about what is capturing their interest in the books they are reading. Then, the class uses the How to Buzz Effectively chart to determine how well they did at the buzz session.

8 Day Eight of Reading Workshop Explain, You have been doing a lot of good reading and thinking about what you read. Readers are always thinking and responding to what they read. Everything you think or feel is part of your personal response to a book. When you are talking about your personal responses, there are no right or wrong answers. Sharing your thinking with others is a good way to learn and to grow in your enjoyment of reading. One way to make your thinking clear is to support it with evidence from the text. Let me show you what I mean. Demonstrate how to record your thinking about a text (a text you have read aloud to the class). Share something you are thinking about the text and what part of the text is making you think this. Example: Share a quality you feel a character in the story possesses. Then share one or more specific parts of the story that make you think this about the character. Write your thought and these text references in your response. In the sample below, I have used Goldilocks and the Three Bears because I am guessing most teachers know this story. You will want to choose a book that you know everyone has heard or read, such as a book you have read aloud to the class. Sample Demonstrated Response I think Goldilocks is impolite. She went into the house when no one was home without even being invited. She ate their food, sat on their chairs and even slept in their beds without asking. I don t blame the bears for being upset with her. Impolite people can be very annoying! My thinking about the text: I think Goldilocks is impolite. Text references to support my thinking: She went into the house when no one was home without even being invited. She ate their food, sat on their chairs and even slept in their beds without asking. Today, during your work time, I would like you to write a response to something you have been reading. Tell us what you are thinking and what in the text is making you think this. We will share some of these responses during our wrap-up after we read. as readers. They use part of their time to write a response to something they have been reading. During the one-on-one conferences, the teacher listens to the child read a small portion of the books he chose to see if he is choosing just right books. Several students share the response they wrote in their reader s notebook. The other students listen for text that supports their thinking.

9 Day Nine of Reading Workshop Demonstrate another written response, sharing the details you notice and what they make you think. Encourage students to record (in their reader s notebook) the details they notice and how the details help them understand the text. as readers. Students record details they notice and their thinking in their reader s notebook. During the one-on-one conferences, the teacher listens to the child read a small portion of the books he chose to see if he is choosing just right books. Students continue to share their written responses in their reader s notebook. This might be a response they wrote yesterday or a response they wrote today.

10 Day Ten of Reading Workshop Explain, We are going to be sharing out thinking about what we read in many ways all year. We will talk about texts we have all heard or read. We will write about our thinking in our reader s notebooks. Each week, you will write about one of the books you are reading during the work time (e.g., a Houghton Mifflin text, a self-selected independent reading book, a guided reading book). You will need to share your thoughts about the book and explain which parts of the text are causing you to think the way you do. To help us be organized, I am going to give each of you a day to share your reader s notebook with me. On that day, you will place your reader s notebook in the basket at the end of the work time, Then, I will read your responses and write a note back to you. In my note to you, I will share with you ways you can make your responses more clear. Please read my note carefully and ask me questions if you do not understand it. Display a small chart in the room with each child s name and the day of the week they will turn in their notebooks. The first few weeks, you will need to read the names off each day. Then, turn the task over to the students and tell them it is their job to remember to turn in their notebook on their assigned day. Your note written to them should teach them something that stretch them and will make future responses stronger. You might encourage them to talk about what they are figuring out about the characters, problem in the story, how the setting is effecting the story, etc. Keep in mind, however, that no response is a wrong response. Affirm the reader s attempts and help them take the next step. as readers. During the one-on-one conferences, the teacher listens to the child read a small portion of the books he chose to see if he is choosing just right books. The class discusses how well they followed the independent reading guidelines. The teacher asks how well they feel they are choosing just right books.

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