Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
April 1, 2011 Reading and Writing Workshop: Virtual Tours of Each Component By Angela Bunyi
Grades 3–5, 6–8

    Over the past four years I have filmed, edited, and posted countless classroom videos, either here on or on our class site. I recently realized that I have more than twenty videos that deal specifically with Reading and Writing Workshop. In this post, I'm putting them all together to show the various components that make a Reading and Writing Workshop come together.

    Watch me teach an entire writing lesson, listen in as I conference with a student about reading and writing, and click on one of the seventeen video links provided in this LOADED post.


    Classroom Layout, Resources, and Setup Virtual Tour

    Your classroom layout and setup is a critical component of a successful Reading and Writing Workshop. Students need access to quality literature, comfortable spots to sit and discuss, and an environment conducive to increasing reading and writing stamina. Watch this video in which I explain how I do this:

    Fiction Mini-Lesson

    Many of the people who request to visit our classroom want to see what a lesson looks like. Luckily, I have an entire fiction writing lesson on video. It is the longest video I've ever posted, but I hope you find time to view it. The lesson was based on suggestions in Lucy Calkins' Units of Study series. I still use this resource in our room and am now working on a memoir unit with the class.


    One-on-One Writing Conference With Mrs. Bunyi

    After a mini-lesson ends, it's time to either read or write (depending on the lesson). Here is a full-length video of a conference I held with a student. It allows you to see what a typical conference entails and how long one generally lasts.


    Another Reading Conference With Mrs. Bunyi

    Here I conference with a student about their reading. Take a seat next to us and listen in.


    Commentary With One-on-One Reading/Writing Conference

    Do you need a little more support? Do you have questions? This video includes conference clips with commentary. If you are limited on time, this is an excellent overview.


    Time to Share Our Reading and Writing With Peers

    After independent Reading and Writing Workshop, it's time to share. Each of the three to five students I conference with each day takes approximately two minutes to share either what they are reading or writing. 

    Here is a video of a student discussing a poetry book by Patricia MacLachlan:

    The next video supports the fiction lesson and conference. I am including it because the filming all occurred in one lesson: it gives you a clearer picture of a real day in our classroom.

    And here is one more sharing clip. In this case, two students collaborated on a shared poetry piece:


    Guided Reading: Group Work and Notes

    This year I have truly struggled to incorporate time for guided reading due to our mandated intervention schedules; however, I do have a few videos that demonstrate how I handle it. In the past, I had an additional thirty-minute block, outside of our regular literacy block, for spelling, guided reading sessions, read-alouds, and share time. 

    There are two things I believe I did differently from other teachers with my guided reading groups. First, students used their Reader's Notebook to take notes, ask questions, and jot pictures in a section devoted to guided reading. Secondly, guided reading sessions with me were followed up the next day with a second meeting without me. Often a parent helped students revisit the book, ask questions, create an anchor chart, and partner read.

    This video demonstrates group work during a guided reading session:


    Guided Reading: Share Time

    In the past, guided reading charts were showcased at the end of Reader's Workshop once a week. Here's an example from a guided reading group:


    Writing Publication

    With daily reading and writing, it is only natural to provide opportunities to publish your students' writing. I have a few videos that demonstrate published pieces. 

    This video is from an author's celebration publication:

    This movie was created from a piece of student writing: 


    Mystery Readers

    My colleague Beth writes about utilizing mystery readers in her classroom in depth. When I have mystery readers come in, I try to record a minute of the event to send to the parent or family member via email later that afternoon. Here is a clip from two years ago: 


    Reading and Writing Resources

    I have talked about all of these resources in previous posts, but I also have videos about using a CAFE/comprehension board and a Reader's Notebook. Another video treats assessment and turning in work.

    Anchor Charts

    When taking a Reading and Writing Workshop approach, don't underestimate the importance of anchor charts. With ongoing units, where each lesson builds on the previous one, it is helpful to record thoughts to reference again later. Here are some examples from the fiction lesson videos above. Note: only display anchor charts if you regularly refer to them. If you don't refer to them, your students won't, either.




    Photos: I used the direct anchor charts modeled by Lucy Calkins the first year I launched this unit. The next year, when I had more confidence and experience teaching the unit, I found I didn't need them. 

    Class Project: Reading Takes Us Places

    Although I typically have my class create math and science content videos, click through to see an example of a reading video we created using a green screen. The message is that reading has the power to take us places — sometimes places we can only dream of visiting.


    For a list of content-specific videos created over the past four years, visit our class site video page.

    Do you have any questions or comments? My virtual classroom door is open, and I am here to answer any questions you might have. 



Share your ideas about this article

My Scholastic

Susan Cheyney