Saturday, March 6, 2010

Reader's Workshop Weekly Roundup: Week Six

This was the Week of Cranky.

It began with the release of a draft national curriculum which (in the eyes of the politicians) equates grammar and phonics with reading, and says nothing about enjoyment of a book. It continued through a week of practice testing, two months before the actual national test, topped off with a late night of parent teacher interviews, and finished with an overly-long assembly which ate all our reading time. Plus wet-weather lunches, which meant the kids did not go out in fresh air for 7/10 of the breaks this week. (Queensland children do not cope with being under cover). I think we all wore a delightful pair of cranky pants this week.

Despite our reading time being severely curtailed, there were some really good things, reading wise, going on in the classroom. One of my students finished Hatchet and its sequel, and is now working his way through two other Hatchet related books from the school library. His enthusiasm is infecting all the children who sit at his table, so I can see Hatchet being read more widely. One of my students has nearly finished The Hunger Games and was telling me (and his mother) how good, and sad, and wonderful it was. One of the girls finished The Truth about Forever overnight - keeping her in books will be my challenge this year. And there's anticipation about the eight new books I have almost ready to put into the library.

The testing practice was interesting. Considering we're two months out from the test, I was thrilled to see the results, particularly in grammar and punctuation, writing and reading. The students who had me last year and had experience with reader's workshop did best, especially the boys who floored me with their high scores in reading. The writing was my favourite to mark though, because I can see the influence of reading in their writing - little twists of plot and character which really stand out. And the simile "it's a secret bigger than your grandma's underwear" . . .

The parent-teacher interviews were uplifting. Stories about kids reading until late (up to two hours a night), devouring all the books the parents can buy, and enthusiastically sharing their reading with their parents. Also parents mentioning that they've noticed an improvement in writing, and even their child's regard of others. And they all love the classroom library.

Then there's the boys writing letters and developing websites about 39 Clues . . .

So, despite the cranky pants, it was a week which proved to me that Reader's Workshop in my room is real and it's working. Which definately lessens the cranky a little :)

Photo from flickr


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

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

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