My post next week will focus specifically on Reading Workshop. I am even creating a video to show what a day of reading workshop looks like in my classroom. I think some of your questions will be answered more thoroughly in that post.
In next week's post, I will certainly include tips for keeping students on task including a daily self-checklist that students complete at the end of workshop.
In my classroom, students are not allowed to "shop" for books during independent reading time. Instead they must choose books (when necessary) during our morning work period or even during recess if I am not on duty. I tell my students that their book box should have enough books inside to last them at least 2 weeks, so they are certainly not visiting the classroom library on daily basis. If a student finishes his or her books during independent reading time, he or she must reread their books on that day. My third graders are expected to be prepared for workshop everyday. That means they are encouraged to shop for new books when they know that they have less than 2 days worth of reading material left. Making this "no shopping during independent reading time" rule a few years ago really improved the reading environment in my classroom. Readers are not distracted by the inevitable talking that takes place among classmates browsing books at the library, and my small group lessons during that time are now much more productive without the disruption of book shopping.
We do not use a basal text in our classroom. We teach whole-group strategy lessons as our mini-lessons each day, and then students practice using those strategies in their self-selected texts during independent reading time. The strategies are also reinforced when students read books at their instructional level in small guided reading and strategy groups.
I think more of your questions will be answered in my Reading Workshop post next week. Stay tuned!!
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