Focus Project:Readers’ Workshop Natalie Bruveris TE 842 Summer 2011
My Background • I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University and completed a full-year internship at Hanstein Elementary in Detroit Public Schools. • During my internship year, I began working on graduate classes towards my Master’s Degree of “Teaching and Curriculum” at Michigan State University. • After my student teaching, I was a substitute teacher in Grosse Pointe Public Schools for three years. I completed three long term positions in third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms. • Eventually, I was hired by Grosse Pointe Public Schools and recently I finished my first year teaching All Day Kindergarten at Monteith Elementary.
Previously Implemented Instructional Approaches • DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read) • Whole Group Instruction • Literacy Centers • Work Stations • Guided Reading • Reading Groups
Motivators for Altering my Reading Instruction • Although I still value these approaches as effective reading techniques, I still felt that there was an essential component missing in my current reading instruction methods.
Questions I Pondered… • With the limited attention span of my Kindergarteners, when can I individualize instruction or work with small groups without interruptions? • How do I allow more opportunities for student-selected reading at their independent reading level? • How do I structure my reading instruction to allow more student talk? • How do I engage my students with reading in a way that keeps them intrinsically motivated?
Readers’ Workshop • Our district announced that implementation of Readers’ Workshop will occur in the Fall of 2012. • We will begin attending professional development opportunities and training sessions in the Fall of 2011. • These culminating factors influenced me to research Readers’ Workshop as my focus project for TE 842.
What is Readers’ Workshop? • A learner-center approach to teaching reading in which the reader is involved in the process of discovery • The workshop format emphasizes the importance of student engagement, facilities the interaction and connection between readers and texts, and allows for authentic learning to occur. • Readers’ Workshop is an organized and managed system of implementing authentic learning opportunities. • Allows time for read-alouds, mini-lessons, real reading, student choice, social interactions, and reader’s response opportunities • This instructional approach allows for endless opportunities to differentiate instruction. • PURPOSE: Readers’ Workshop fosters independence among all readers while effectively utilizing reading strategies.
Guiding Principles • “Readers have time to read just-right books independently every day.” • “Readers select their own appropriate books.” • “Readers take care of books.” • “Readers respect each other’s reading time and reading lives.” • “Readers have daily opportunities to talk about their books in genuine ways.” • “Readers don’t just read the words but also understand the story.” • “Readers’ work in the independent reading workshop is replicable outside the classroom.” • Cited directly from: Collins, K. (2004). Growing Readers: Units of Study in the Primary Classroom. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers.
Basic Components of Readers’ Workshop • Teacher Read-Aloud • Mini-Lesson • Status of the Class (optional) • Reading Block • Sharing Time
Teacher Read-Aloud • Purpose: Helps promote a community of readers and allows modeling opportunities • Approximately 10-15 minutes • Teacher or student can select the text • Teacher models reading strategies • Teacher scaffolds fluency (accuracy, prosody, and automaticity) • Think-Alouds • Numerous “Turn and Talk” opportunities throughout the reading
Mini-Lesson • Mini-Lessons are brief teaching opportunities (approximately 10 minutes or less) • Types of Mini-Lessons: procedural (how-to), literary, and strategy and skill Organization of Mini-Lessons: • Connection (mini-lesson makes a connection with ongoing units, students, experiences, etc.) • Teaching Point (model or verbally present lesson focus) • Active Engagement (Children have an active role in understanding teaching point) • Link to ongoing work
Status of the Class (optional) • Approximately 2-3 minutes • Provides opportunities to clarify student questions about Readers’ Workshop • Allows the teacher to quickly survey and review students’ plan of action for the present day workshop
Reading and Responses • READING: • Is the focus of Readers’ Workshop • Establishes the reading block as valued and quiet reading time • Should include independent reading time which can transform into partner reading • Can be structured into reading centers for lower elementary • RESPONSE: • You may want your students to keep a readers’ response journal to reflect on the story’s setting, characters, synthesize questions, and make connections with the text.
Conferencing • Teachers are conferring with individuals, partners, or small groups during independent reading and response time. • Conferences allow time for the teacher to clarify the text for students, encourage connections with the text, assess student comprehension, and individualize instruction. • Teachers perform on-going assessments during the reading block.
Sharing • Approximately 5 minutes • Classmates get the opportunity to hear what others are reading. • Students verbalize connections with the text, make recommendations and talk about parts of a story that they enjoyed, disliked, found interesting, or confusing. • PURPOSE: helps beginning readers feel a sense of belonging in a community of readers • Note: The teacher may have to elicit responses in the beginning or with lower elementary students.
Teacher & Student Roles • TEACHER ROLE: Facilitating independent learning, conferring, observing, teaching, and assessing. • STUDENT ROLE: Actively engaged in reading, responding to text (verbal and written responses), talking about text, and sharing thoughts and ideas with peers.
Materials Needed… • Leveled and diverse classroom library, easily accessible to students • Storage bins or baskets for leveled texts • Tote bags, tubs, gallon-size baggies, or magazine files for each student’s “just-right” books
Classroom Context • Should be an inviting, warm, and welcoming environment • Classroom context should be safe, consistent, and non-threatening • Print-rich classroom, easy-access to materials, group meeting area, and a talk-rich classroom • Ideas: carpet squares, bean bags, stuffed animals, couches, rocking chairs, and ambient lighting
Procedures Before Implementation • Patiently model, demonstrate, and clearly state your high expectations • Model how-to read, care, select, and organize the books • Teach the three ways to read a book: read and talk about the pictures, read the words, & retell • Model correct procedures and incorrect procedures (role play)
How will this benefit your practices? • “Children can read their just-right books with fluency, comprehension, and at least 90-95 percent accuracy” (Calkins 2001). • Readers’ Workshop provides a flexible format for the teacher • Reading becomes valued, meaningful, achievable, and fun for students of all ability levels • Students have time for real reading that caters to their interest and ability, and the opportunity to respond to the text • Teaches students how to be lifelong readers
Continued… • “Readers’ Workshop is one example of a structure used in classroom literacy instruction that builds on connections made between students’ backgrounds and experiences and fosters community relationships amongst learners and teacher” (Taylor 2000). • “Makes time for quality interaction with all students; addresses the needs of all students, regardless of level or ability; and gives students the chance to voice literary opinions and share their enjoyment within a family of literacy learners” (Bryan 1999). • “It is worth noting that in balanced literacy classrooms teachers make time in the day for other components of literacy instruction as well. These components include shared reading, interactive read-aloud with accountable talk, story time, phonics, and word study, small-group work (guided reading or strategy lessons), interactive writing, and writing workshop” (Collins 2004, p. 15).
How does Readers’ Workshop meet the needs of all learners? • “When children read independently during independent reading workshop, they read just-right books, which are books that match their independent reading levels” (Collins 2004). • Texts are student-selected, which caters to their specific interests. • Student talk and reading responses are authentic • Readers’ Workshop allows for opportunities for individualized instruction with the teacher
Teacher Tips Pam Liagre suggested… (K-2 Language Arts Curriculum Specialist and 2nd grade teacher at Monteith Elementary School) • Teacher wears a special necklace or scarf to indicate to students when the teacher is “off limits,” unless there was an actual emergency! • Allow students to go “shopping” once a week to select their “just-right” books for Readers’ Workshop (perhaps on Fridays to prepare for the following week).
Possible Challenges… • Pam Liagre (K-2 Language Arts Curriculum Specialist and 2nd grade teacher at Monteith Elementary School) and Christina Gill (1st grade teacher at Ferry Elementary School) reported that the most difficult obstacles when initially implementing Readers’ Workshop are the organizational factors. • Obtaining the necessary materials (Texts for leveled library, book bins, shopping bags for student-selected books) • Questions to consider: How do you want to organize your leveled library? What will students use to tote their just-right books? When will your students “shop” for their books? What will your reading corners look like?
Conclusion • Does anyone have any suggestions before we embark on our journey to implement Readers’ Workshop? • Comments? • Questions? THANK YOU!
References • Allington, R. L. (2002) What I’ve Learned About Effective Reading Instruction. Phi Delta Kappan, 83, 740-747. • Boushey, G. and Moser, J. (2006) The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers. • Bryan, J.W. (1999) Readers Workshop in a Kindergarten Classroom. The Reading Teacher, 52(5), 538-540. • Collins, K. (2004). Growing Readers: Units of Study in the Primary Classroom. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers. • Harvey, S. and Daniels, H. (2009) Inquiry Circles in Action: Comprehension and Collaboration. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann. • Taylor, S.V. and Nesheim, D.W. (2000) Making Literacy Real for “High-Risk” Adolescent Emerging Readers: An Innovative Application of Reader’s Workshop. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 44(4), 308-318. • Williams, M. (2001) Making Connections: A Workshop for adolescents who struggle with reading. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 44(7), 588-602.