Thursday, May 6, 2010

About Reader's Workshop: Introducing the New Student

At the beginning of this term I got a new student. It was probably the height of bad timing- I was one day back from my trip to Japan, with National testing (which doesn't concern her, she's in the non-testing year) looming over the top of me. I was assured that she was a reader, and I assumed (oh no) she would just fit right in to Reader's Workshop.

Except she hasn't. I know she's not reading books properly. She'll get right into them, assure me that she loves them and suddenly skip massive portions of the text. She has no idea of the main points of the story. And then I did the tired-teacher routine and got cranky with her.

Leaving her for a moment - yesterday I received my copy of Teri Lesesne's Reading Ladders. Excitedly, I plunged into it, and I'm already half way through. But somewhere along the way, I was forced to think about this new child. Do I know what she likes to read? Not really, I neglected to give her the survey the other students got at the beginning of the year. Have I talked with her about the expectations of Reader's Workshop? Again, not really.

Today I intend to fix that. I'm going to take the time to talk with her one and one. I'll remind her that I don't want people to lie about finishing books, but I'll also tell her that I want her to find books that she can really sink her teeth into. I'll grab the book recommendation lists we made last year and first term, and we'll sit down and talk about choosing a good book together. It might take a few days to really get into it, but I'm sure we'll get there.

She was a very good reminder that Reader's Workshop is as much about the relationship we have with each other as readers as it is about the relationship we have with books and settings and characters.

Image 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

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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