Saturday, October 13, 2007

Reader's Workshop: Lessons

My friend over at becoming... asked about reading partners and the format of our reading workshop. I thought that I would post my first grade lesson for reader's workshop here for all to read and make comments. Maybe you have some ideas that I didn't think of and can help me too! (I love a professional learning community)

1. The mini lesson- Usually done in the community area (my square of carpet) we usually discuss something for about 5-10 minutes. Sometimes it is from a previously read touchstone text, sometimes it is me modeling a strategy, whatever it is I want my students to go and try it out.
2. Independent Reading time: (15-20 minutes) This is the time my students go and try out the strategy that we learned in the mini-lesson. Students have book bins with 3-4 books inside. The kiddos have chosen their own and then they have a card with their reading letter on it. That letter has a bin in my library that they must choose 2 books from. These are their on-level books. We even have procedures for this time too. This is the time that I meet with my kiddos for conferencing, I pull up to kiddos and just ask them to read aloud. I then question them about the strategies that they are using. We have really been focusing on the strategies so far but we are ready to begin the work of connections soon!!!!
3. After about 15-20 minutes my kiddos have 5 minutes to meet with their prechosen reading partner. We discussed, in a mini-lesson, what sorts of questions they were to ask their partner. We charted them and then I put them on slips of paper for them to use with their partner when they meet. Here are the questions:
1. What did you read today?
2. What was the book about?
3. Did you like the book?
4. What will you read tomorrow?
I thought that if kids have prechosen questions they would be on topic when talking and they would learn the types of questions that people ask when talking about books. It really has seemed to work. After introducing these questions we had a whole week where when you came to sharing, you only shared what your partner said. Kids really focused because they wanted permission to speak!!!!!
4. Kids wait for the music to start in order to head to the sharing area. I play "So Long Farewell" from the Sound of Music, to signify the end of the independent reading time. The kids must put up their books and meet back with me by the end of the song. Music has really been an integral part of my classroom this year. Wow, why didn't I think of this sooner?
5. Sharing- because I used to hate sharing I have decided to keep the sharing time very informal. I wrote about this previously, I just ask the kids to respond with how did you use the strategy that we worked on during this time. I at first thought, "what will they say? will they respond at all? will there be cricket sounds in the background?" Yikes! On the contrary, they really do what they are asked to do! Holy Cow, I am shocked and amazed, but I set the foundation for community, and it is leaking through the classroom.

So, there it is in a nutshell. I have loved this workshop. I am finding that the kids love that time to be readers. They are loving the time to practice. I am loving the time I get to know them as readers and people. I am finding that my kids and I are developing a secret language. There is a great respect between us, they know what to expect, that I am consistent, and that I really don't like it when people are hurt. I know they want to be loved and respected, they want their ideas heard, and they are in the middle of falling in love with books. The year is different, and I love it!

1 comment:

katied said...

Your workshop sounds very similar to mine. The sharing is huge for my room as well. I find their strategy sharing turns into a new minilesson at the end of workshop or helps me think about what my kids are ready for the following day.
I was just talking to our K teacher today about finding balance between reading word strategy work and comprehension strategy work. I feel like we really do layer these strategies because the picture wondering and walk are ways we have kids begin to predict, infer, connect and question just using pictures. I just don't think I as explicit with these as I am with interactive read aloud. Just thoughts. I always appreciate reading your thoughts. Thanks so much for sharing.