Saturday, January 30, 2010

Reader's Workshop Weekly Roundup: Week One

One thing I hope to do throughout the school year is a Reader's Workshop Weekly Roundup (RWWR), with a brief reflection on the week that was. As we've just finished our first week of school (a half week, really) it's a good place to start!

The three days we had school this week were absolute stinkers - as hot as anything, with the humidity through the roof. Sitting still could leave you covered in sweat. So, as we dripped through the days, I was aware that the students were tired, uncomfortable and by Friday as grumpy as I was. Nevertheless, with Reader's Workshop right at the beginning of the day, I found that we were slipping into a nice, comfortable community feel.

The mini lessons this week were all about setting up Reader's Workshop. We began on Wednesday by talking about the routine - mini lesson, book talks, reading - and completing Reading Surveys. On Thursday by talking about book choice and meaningful books, and we finished the week up on Friday with setting up our Reader's Notebooks. The last lesson was essential by then, as a few students had already finished their first books and needed a place to record them. I introduced a 'wish list' for students to use so they could write down books they wanted to read during book talks, and I noticed this was widely used (yay!)

Al Capone Does My ShirtsThere were some real highlights this week - the new books I introduced seemed to be winners, particularly Al Capone Does My Shirts (onto its second student) and Hatchet (I got two copies and both are being read). I also noticed a lot of students delving into older books in the library - Young Bond and Cherub were both represented, along with a few books of ghost stories I own. One new Grade 5 student (I have 5/6/7, but all but one of the Grade 6s and 7s have had me as a teacher before) triumphantly told me she'd never read a 'big book' (regular middle grade size novel) before this week, and she'd never read as many pages. I've also had some really positive parent feedback about the reading.

It was also great to have the principal (he's been our deputy for years - it's so hard to think of him as principal!) come through the class and call them the best class in the universe!

Some things I need to address in the future - sticking with a book because you think it might get better or is worth reading, and giving up a book that's just bad; how to talk about a book and your reading (I think I need to model some reading thinking - any ideas?); using sticky notes to mark notable pages/passages. I have ideas for mini lessons for some of them, and I think that I'll need to watch reinforcement in mini-lessons as well.

All in all, a great start to the year.


KimY said...

In our LRC I talk about developing your "reading stamina" with the Grade 5 and 6 students so they can build up to reading longer books. They now refer to their "reading stamina" when reflecting on their reading:)

A Reader's Community said...

That's a good idea - I might have to 'steal' that :) It's great when you get a shared vocabulary going - we refer to too easy/perfect match/too hard books as Holidays/Just Rights and Challenges, which means we don't have labeled books, and there's an understanding that one person's Challenge is anothers' Just Right

A Reader's Community

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Queensland, Australia
A Reader's Community is a place to find ideas, information, resources and recommendations about Reader's Workshop.

This Blog has five main types of posts.

About Reader's Workshop - information about Reader's Workshop in my classroom and how it works

Reader's Workshop Tools - resources you can access and use to help you with reader's workshop

Book talks - Book recommendations of two or three books centred around a particular theme

Book letters - in-depth reviews of one particular book

Reader's Workshop Links - Short links lists to help you find more information
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