Here are some answers to your questions:
1. You asked about mini-lesson ideas for reading and writing workshop. The philosophy of workshop is great, but where do the mini-lessons come from? This is a question so many teachers ask. My district is currently in the process of writing units of study for each grade level with daily mini-lessons for each month. While I can't share that here, I can recommend some books that can be useful when looking for mini-lessons.
"Revisiting the Reading Workshop:" This Scholastic book has mini-lesson ideas for the first 30 days. http://shop.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay_20655_-1_10001_10002
"Workshops that Work:" This Scholastic book is geared toward grades 4+, but it also provides sequential mini-lessons for the first 30 days. http://shop.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay_25425_-1_10001_10002
Frank Serafini also wrote a book called "Around the Reading Workshop in 180 Days." In the book, he provides month-by-month strategies for running a reading workshop across an entire year.
You can also write your own mini-lessons. Just look at the skills or units you have been teaching prior to implementing a reading workshop and try breaking them into smaller mini-lessons.
Remember, during the mini-lesson the teacher instructs the whole class on a skill, strategy, or habit that students need to learn and use during independent reading. The teaching point is stated clearly and demonstrated or modeled for students. Students are then invited to actively engage in trying out the skill or strategy on their own before they begin their independent reading for the day.
2. If you would like to do reading partnerships but do not have enough double-copy books, think about using the school library or even checking out multiple copies of chapter books from the public library. If my students want to do a reading partnership with a book that is only a single copy book, we always check the school library first to see if we can find another copy. Without 2 copies of the same book, I think it would be hard to do reading partnerships effectively. It is important for the students to be reading the books independently but also simultaneously so that they can meet to discuss the common text.
3. When I first started teaching in my district, there was an anthology that teachers were expected to use. However, we have gradually moved away from that since we know that "one size does not fit all readers." Our district has now adopted the Reading Workshop framework, so that's why we are currently writing our own curriculum.
I hope that my answers were of some help to you. My next post will be specific to reading workshop with lots of management ideas and a video of what reading workshop looks like on a typical day in my classroom. Check back soon!
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