ProTeacher Community - View Single Post - Lucy Calkins workshop - not working!
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Torn Teacher

Torn Teacher
Like it but worry about the future
Old 04-09-2010, 12:34 AM
Clip to ScrapBook #64

I like the workshop model but feel that it works better with the younger students (I'm a kindergarten teacher and a mom). I like that they are encouraged to write stories about their lives while improving slowly. At least the children feel that they can do something correctly as a result of the workshop model. As they get older, the workshop model is too open ended in my opinion. The students and teacher need more structure because of high stakes testing.

I do like reading and writing workshop, but I don't feel that it is a realistic way for older children to improve their skills. I feel that the older students really need to be from homes where reading is constantly taking place to experience continued success.

All of the students need to be self motivated with the workshop model, because their teacher expects them to work alone for a large amount of time while they help others (conferencing).

Under the program, the children's vocabulary can suffer. That is, unless the classroom teacher is dedicated to making sure that they teach science, social studies and math (all of the time).

Most teacher's also do not get the support that they need to implement the program efficiently enough. Some literacy coaches just "preach" they don't really "teach" or assist us in breaking down those books that Calkins writes. Those boring books have such small print and if the coaches would just lay everything out for the teacher's on each grade, it would really be help the student's much more.

Instead, they expect the teacher to research the student's needs, complete the needed research to implement the lessons effectively and research the next exercise. Not to mention teach the mini lesson and deal with all of the on the spot issues that could arise.

It could work very well if classes are small, children do all of their hw, principal's are realistic and literacy coaches really coach and support. However, in this environment of everyone "covering" themselves and looking out for their own best interest due to the high stakes testing, workshop will soon join the ranks of failing programs. It will soon disappear when test scores continue to go down the toilet.

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