Reading Workshops: A Day in the Life of . . .
Before you begin putting together your reading workshop, take a look at a "typical" day.
As all students silently settle in, taking out their response journals and books, I begin reading aloud Roald Dahl's short story, "The Landlady." Then I present a 15-minute mini-lesson on generating words that accurately describe a character's personality. We move immediately into guided practice, during which groups of students practice the strategy for 15 minutes, using a short story they've already read. I circulate among groups and jot down notes, pausing to observe and/ or converse with individuals.
Next, students have 40 minutes of choice time. I write three choices on the chalkboard and review them quickly: 1) read silently; 2) finish the journal entry on the problems the main character faced in the short story you read; 3) using brainstormed notes, write a self-evaluation of your reading progress.
I list on the chalkboard the names of students in reading groups and individual students I plan to meet with to practice a strategy presented earlier; everyone else is expected to choose an activity and dive in.
Today four students and I spend 20 minutes practicing selecting the details that help them discover the themes of the short story "The Landlady." Then, we practice expressing the story's themes with general statements. Next, I hold two one-on-one conferences with struggling readers, while the rest of the class selects and works on one of the choice experiences.
During the first conference, Jolene and I practice using context clues to figure out the meaning of tough words. During the second conference, Juan rereads each couplet of Arthur Guiterman's poem, "Ancient History," until the reading is fluent and expressive.
Now that you have a snapshot of a day in the life of a reading workshop, let's take a look at how Laura Robb addresses specific components of the workshop. Click on the links above or the topics listed to the left to take you to the subject of your choice.