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misterd123 08-07-2016 04:57 PM

Truly Hating the Workshop Method
"Take out your reading logs so you can record how many pages you've read!" "Homework? I don't give it... just read 30 minutes every night." "Tests? Why do we need tests, if they read more they will undoubtedly be successful at everything Language Arts." "Ready for your reading conference, okay... today I'm not going to ask you any questions related to the standards we are required to meet, I just want to know how you like your book? What was your favorite part?" "Have you scanned your books yet?"

Wow, as a second year Language Arts teacher I can tell you that I absolutely hate Workshop and the quotes above I so often hear from those who believe it's the greatest thing since sliced white bread. Before judgements, let me explain that I am an avid reader, and I've read 98 books this year as per my GoodReads challenge. However, I am so confused... I do not understand why everyone things this Workshop model is so amazing.

I will agree 100% that students need to have choice and I welcome that. I've had so many students tell me that they read over 20 books in my first year teaching and I opened them to new genres and the joy of reading. HOWEVER, my 80 minute block of English features only 10 minutes of silent reading. I would never waste valuable instruction with 40 minutes of silent reading, especially when I know some students fake read. Where/when is the writing instruction being taught? When do you get in your grammar? What about the (usually forgotten) speaking and listening standards?

Many will say that those skills can all be covered in "conferences." However, I am amazed that so many know ALL their students' books to ask the complex questions that are truly high level.

I guess I'm just frustrated because everyone thinks this is amazing and I'm confused as to how one reaches all the requirements of the CCSS standards.

Does anyone else feel this way? If not, please ignore this message. I've heard so many rebuttals from all the book whisperers that I want to scream!

misterd123 08-07-2016 06:18 PM

Please excuse my spelling errors in "things" which is meant to be "thinks." Still trying to learn how to edit the original post.

Rt2learn 08-15-2016 04:57 PM

I understand your frustration. It's very difficult to get all done in one class period. My class period is only 45 minutes!

Leenie A. 10-23-2016 04:16 AM

Middle School and the Workshop Model
Readers/Writers Workshop is FABULOUS for the elementary grades, however, it doesn't work the same in a middle school class setting. This is why your frustration is so high. Try mixing it up. I allow my students their Independent Reading Novels that they must be reading at home and during class time IF there is time, however, I also incorporate class novels. Right now we are currently reading Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullally Hunt. They love it, I love it, and we are able to have AMAZING class discussions and teachable moments throughout.

pausebutton 10-23-2016 11:46 AM

What about focusing on literature circles or book clubs? That way, there is still a degree of choice and it's easier to assign jobs/tasks that involve higher level thinking. The tasks can be standards based and count for grades.

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