Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reading Workshop - the first four weeks

The past four weeks of school have gone by in the blink of an eye. I've had hardly a moment to even think about taking photos for a blog post. But, I did want to make a quick post about my first experiences with Reading Workshop. I'm using a variety of resources to help me get started from Fountas & Pinnell to Pinterest. The only other teacher I know using it is at another school, so I am lucky to have her as a resource, although I wish we were closer.

So, what have we accomplished in four weeks?
* We built up stamina and we are now reading for 30-40 minutes!
* I have a student who is below a 3rd grade reading level but insists on reading above grade level material. I was able to hook him with with the Fabelhaven audiobook and he is now reading the entire time and is comprehending what he is reading.
* The first week I made some brief observations while the students were reading.
* It took me nearly two weeks but I interviewed each student about their reading. I loved these first conferences and getting to chat with my students.
* I was debating whether or not to complete a BRI assessment or just use the data from their AIMS tests. I decided more data and getting a chance to actually hear their fluency was the best way to go, so I started those last week.
* I'm hoping to get those assessments finished this week and begin small group/guided reading.
* We've completed a variety of mini-lessons with anchor charts and are already becoming better readers!
* We've reflected on our growth and areas for improvement.
* We've read A LOT!

What do I think of Reading Workshop so far?
I absolutely LOVE it! I wish I had learned about this sooner! I'm excited about the growth my students are going to make this year!

On Friday my students wrote me a quick letter about Reading Workshop and I had to share a few of my favorite. It really gives you an idea of how much the students are getting out of it already!

I wrote back to every single student and, although exhausting, I know the students will be appreciative and it will continue to support their growth in reading.

There were a couple of people asking me about the reading interviews that I completed with each student. The point of this is to actually connect with the students as a sort of first or pre-conference and show interest in each of them as a reader. This is not to be handed out for the students to fill out, but for the teacher to actually interview everyone. My Reading Workshop binder is filling up with data, observations, and their interview notes. The interview questions I adapted from Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop: Making Informed Instructional Decisions in Grades 3-6 by Sibberson and Szymusiak. You can get the copy I whipped up, for free, from my Facebook Fan Freebie page! 

Since I am still feeling my way around Reading Workshop I'd love more ideas/resources/links. Send them my way please!

And, I've already purchased some goodies from the HUGE Back-to-School TpT sale. Don't forget it is today and tomorrow only. All items in my store are 20%, plus use the code BTS13 for an extra 10% off!

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