Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Reader's Workshop

Today I am linking up with Ms. B over at Buzzing with Ms. B for her Reader's Workshop Linky Party.

As we get near the first day back to school, I know we are all thinking about how we are going to teach the first week. Will you just go over rules and no actual teaching or will you jump right into teaching? For me and my district, we jump RIGHT into teaching the 1st day. The logic behind it is to start teaching day 1 so that the kids start seeing what the rest of their year will look like!

My district is very big on the workshop model and we do it for math, reading, and writing. I wanted to share with you how I launch reader's workshop in my classroom.

If you are new to the workshop model this is what it looks like. Mini lesson, independent reading/centers (during this time I meet with small groups), sharing (normally reading from their reader's response journals). The total time of the workshop can vary (60 minutes at the most) depending on the length of the mini lesson, but remember, the lesson is MINI. So make it short! No more than 15 minutes.

For the first 3 weeks of school I am teaching the students why we read, how we read, what we do when we get to a word when don't know, how to write in our reader's response journal, etc. all within the workshop model. So when I'm ready to start teaching predicting, inferring, visualization, my students already know the workshop model and can easily transition!

Here is an example of how the 1st day of reader's workshop would look in my classroom.

I would bring the students to the carpet (that's where all of our learning happens). I have my easel up there and all of my supplies ready to use for filling out anchor charts.

The first day I talk about why we read. And as a class we brainstorm ideas of why we read and record them on our "Why Readers Read" anchor chart.

A trick I use so that I can use these anchor charts year after year is write the students responses on sticky notes and stick them to the anchor chart. Then at the end of the year, pull off the sticky notes, and store the anchor chart till next year!

All of our anchor charts are displayed ALL year long for students to refer to whenever they need!

After the "purpose of reading" mini lesson I tell the kids that we are going to read a book for fun today. I think it is so important to read to your kids DAILY! My favorite author is Mo Willems. I always start out with a pigeon book. They LOVE them! After I read it we talk about why we read that book. Of course to have fun and entertain us! And it of course entertained us! That darn pigeon!

Day 2 and 3 of school will consist more of what the mini lesson will look like and what independent reading will look like. Here are some of the other anchor charts we do within the first few weeks.

Baby steps are so important when you are laying the groundwork for the workshop. Don't try to shove too much into one day because you'll end up having to reteach it later because they aren't going to remember.

If you would like to do reader's workshop in your classroom, check out my "Launching Reader's Workshop" unit in my Teacher's Pay Teachers store. It is geared for K-2. I promise if you stick with the lessons, you're kiddos will be ready to tackle reader's workshop in 3 weeks! Kids strive on consistency and that's what reader's workshop does for you!

If you have any questions about reader's workshop, please do not hesitate to email me at flyinghighinfirstgrade@gmail.com I'd love to help!
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  1. You gave such great advice at the end...it's easy to get off-track in a mini-lesson sometimes!

    1, 2, Eyes On You!

    1. Yes it is! Planning out what you want to teach and sticking to that is so important or they'll get that glazed over look :) That's when you know it's time to wrap it up!


  2. I have such a problem with mini lessons. (Because of the time management thing on my part) I do like the idea though.

    Our reading series comes with Reader's Notebooks. (fancy way of saying workbooks). Do you have those? I know I don't *have* to necessarily use them but I feel like it's unspoken that I do--especially since it's a new series and book rental money goes to buy them. Thoughts?

    You Might Be a First Grader….

    1. Yes, our reading series also has "workbooks". As a grade level we decided to send them home because honestly, we just didn't have time to get to them in the classroom. We had weekly homework and would sometimes write in the homework to go tear out page 145 and turn it in and we also gave the parents full reign to work with their child from the book throughout the year. They are always asking what extra work they can do, so we gave them a resource to pull from.

  3. Finally getting around to responding! Thank you so much for linking up! This is an excellent model for a teacher to follow. And I love your book choice - kids love the pigeon books. I hope your year has started out well!

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  4. Love the anchor charts! I also love your thoughts about taking it slow in the beginning. I'm always tempted to rush through those important groundwork lessons but if you take it slow in the beginning it pays off later. Great post!


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