Tuesday, July 13, 2010

About Reader's Workshop: Creating a Reader's Life

One of my goals this year has been to develop skills that will allow students to become life long readers. Interestingly, I've discovered that the students in my class, some of them non-readers before this year, have been teaching themselves their own skills or learning them from family and friends. They've taken on the life of readers. Here's some of the things I've noticed:

Students are becoming more creative at getting books
I have a tonne of books in my classroom. However, I usually only have one copy of each book, or there's certain books I don't have, or they don't have access to books on weekends or holidays. I have noticed students are moving outside of the classroom, and indeed the school to get their books. One tells me how he goes out with his sister and father to the book shop each week, even if they don't buy anything.  A lot of them have gone back to visiting the local libraries to stock up on books. Some of them have even managed to convince older siblings to procure them books from the high school libraries.

Students are getting more creative at finding time to read books
 One of the things I've taught this year is sneaky reading. Basically students are encouraged to read when they get a spare moment - when they are waiting for a teacher or have finished something early. We take our books with us to assemblies, and read while we wait for the assembly to begin (I collect the books before it starts, though). A lot of students tell me about their reading habits at home - a few of them have snuck in reading by flashlights under the blankets at night :) - but most have taken to finding other moments where they are able to read.

Students are beginning to set reading goals
A lot of the students are beginning to set goals of what they'd like to read. Particularly with the holidays, students are organising what they want to read, how many things they want to read. I also noticed that students were organising meetings on the holidays to swap books over with each other.

Students are becoming more confident about talking about their reading
Students are talking about their reading more and more. They talk about what they like, what they want to read. They write blogs reviewing books, and mention books in conversation. They're also beginning to make connections between books in their conversations.

All these things - selecting books, making time to read, setting goals, talking about books are all things that confident adults readers do. It's really nice to see the students beginning to take on these habits, starting to create reading lives.

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

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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