Do I jump in and not look back?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MissNikki, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. MissNikki

    MissNikki Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2010

    Over the past two weeks, I have read Igniting Their Passion and am now reading The Book Whisperer. Couple this with the nagging fact that a larger than normal number of my students didn't do well on state tests and now I am considering how I teach reading. Typically, we use a whole-class novel approach in our district. We design the spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and writing programs/instruction as well. I'm starting to think I should do something more along the lines of reading workshop as described in these books, but am not sure. I am not talking about grouping kids and having them read the same book in their groups. Instead, they talk about having them do a large amount of independent reading throughout the school week and use comprehension strategy instruction in-between. Does anyone use reading workshop? Should I jump in and not look back? Any help and advice would be appreciated. :dizzy:
     
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  3. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Aug 18, 2010

    It's hard to tell you whether or not to jump in with both feet. What would the consequences be from your admin? Do you have research (besides Layne and Miller) to back up your decisions?

    My school district just moved to a reading workshop approach, but it is not the same model as Miller's. Ours is more of a 60% student choice and 40% lit circles/whole class novel (the entire seventh grade in my school reads Night at the same time). I feel more comfortable in this zone. I can still make sure I teach the content of literature and reading, as well as the communication skills of deep group discussion while still providing a large amount of student choice.

    Check out Teaching Reading in the Middle School, 2nd Ed. by Laura Robb for another model of the reading workshop. Don't get scared away by the words middle school in the title. There is lots of great stuff in there.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2010

    I am also planning to start a readers workshop approach this year, but I'm not allowed to just throw out the textbook...so I'll be using a combined approach as well. If it works then I might have more support to move away from the textbook next year...
     
  5. MissNikki

    MissNikki Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2010

    In using a combined approach, how do you tackle a class novel plus give independent reading time? I'm having a difficult time understanding how that would work. My thinking was that I could use some of the novels that were typically for novel units as read alouds.

    We are not required to use any particular curriculum or approach in our district. There would be no repercussion.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2010

    I have done two different ways. I will use the textbook or novel for 2 weeks and then use a readers workshop for two weeks. I still apply the strategy we are using to the textbook or novel. Often times I use the class novel or textbook to introduce the strategy and then the 2 weeks of readers workshop for the students to practice the strategy.

    If I am doing a novel study or textbook, I have the students silent read either the first 10-15 minutes of class or the last 10-15 minutes of class.
     
  7. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Aug 18, 2010

    My students have always been expected to be reading something independently even though we may also be doing book clubs or whole-class novels. It's never been an issue.
     

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