Sunday, August 5, 2012

Readers Workshop and a freebie

As I continue to read Growing Readers, the more I am loving this structure for the classroom. Collins has some great ideas and provides a great structure for using these units of study. I'm now 32% through the book and have taken a ton of notes. These are the units of study that Collins structures the book around:
  • Readers build good habits
  • Readers use strategies to figure out words
  • Readers think and talk about books to grow ideas
  • Readers use word power to read and understand their books
  • Readers pursue interest in books and other texts
  • Readers make plans for reading lives
I'm still working on reading about the first unit of study: Readers build good habits. These are the habits:
  • read everyday
  •  talk and think about books with other people
  • read everything in sight
  • take care of books and protect reading time
There are a variety of ways Collins suggests to develop these habits. There are a few that I really liked and wanted to share. One is that the students take a book home everyday. They get to choose this book. I love this because I try to send home a book at least 3 days of the week. The only reason I have trouble with 3 days a week is because it's time consuming to pick the book and make sure they bring it back and it's not a book they've read before. If they are choosing the book and are responsible for it then it take some of the pressure off of me. I'm still trying to figure out how to make sure they come back. I'm hoping by developing these habits and the respect for the books, the students are going to be more apt to bring the book back.
Another idea, Collins suggests is to go on a reading hunt through the school. Point out places that you see print in the school that you could read. I'm fortunate enough to teach in a school in the downtown of a small town. I could see taking this field trip through the town.
The last idea that I want to share with you has to do with finding out who the students are as readers.  For their first homework assignment, the students are to bring in their favorite book. First look at the books as a class. See what is the same or different about the students' books. Get them talking about their books. Then, set up a special shelf in the classroom or basket to display these books. Over the course of a few weeks, have the students share a little bit about their books. The idea is to get the students thinking about the social aspect of reading. There will be kids that won't have books to bring in, it's ok to let the students get a book from the classroom library. This also gives you a chance to see what the students are interested in and their experiences reading. I have a couple of freebies for you. I had a suggestion to revise my conference sheet to fit more on the page. So I have the original that I made and shared last week, then another version of the sheet. I've also made a letter to go home about bringing their favorite book and then a sheet to make sign for the books.

 If you download the freebie, please leave me a comment. I would love to hear what you think about reading workshop. I'm really enjoying this book and it's giving me a lot to think about. So much so, I've been neglected Debbie Diller's Math Workstations. And school starts in a week and half. I've got a lot going on this week. I have a workshop tomorrow and then staff retreat Tuesday and Wednesday. Summer is coming to an end.I'm linking up with manic Monday at classroom freebies. I promise even though this looks like the same freebie from last week, it's not.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. This book sounds awesome - I was not familiar with it. Thanks for sharing. I'm following your blog now.

    Math is Elementary

  2. I love this book! It's absolutely filled with brilliance. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First