Monday, August 3, 2009

Reader's Workshop: Part Three - How is it working

Read about the previous posts on Reader's Workshop here and here:

I know it's too early to make a full reflection on the Reader's Workshop (after three weeks), but there have been some early indications of success:

  • There is an increased interest in books in the classroom. New books do not stay on the shelves for long, but are quickly passed from hand to hand. There's also talk about books and reading and lots of sharing of information.
  • The students are thinking more about characters, the scenes, the symbols in books
  • I'm hearing them read from books that interest them. One student read to me from a book which we both knew was below his ability as a reader. I listened to him, discussed how he was having no problems with it and asked him to read to me again when he'd finished the book - he got to finish a book he was interested in and we had a discussion about reading, and what he might be interested in next.
  • The students are writing about books more coherently than ever before. One student was reading 'A Wrinkle in Time' and wrote me a letter about it. I wrote back to her about Meg and she noted:

    "I think she would make a bit of a dull friend, if you asked her something she would be thinking about something else"

    This was something I'd never considered, but the student made me approach the character from a different perspective. As a class they're making me do this an awful lot.
It hasn't been all peaches. I've had to revisit how to respond a few times to make sure all the students were clear on it, and I need to continue to have a clear focus of the week (this week is perspective), but so far it's working nicely and I'm really enjoying it. After all - we've created a reading community, how can you go wrong?

Image from Public Domain Photos

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