Sounds great! Are you starting reader's workshop on the very first day of school? I am still wondering if I should wait to dive into reader's workshop after the first few days or even the first week. I have been reading Collin's book and am IN LOVE with all her ideas! I tried so hard to implement RW last year as best as I could, but I felt like my mini lessons didn't apply to everyone and they seemed rather dry at times. Now, after reading Collins...it all makes sense to me now!
Your ideas for the first week look wonderful! You said that you are going to intertwine basic rules for RW within the mini lessons. Is that going to be too much? I was thinking that maybe you should just focus on one thing per mini lesson since it is the beginning of the year and these guys can only handle so much at one time. Maybe you can start with the basic rules and then move onto Who am I as a reader and what do I need to read well. Just a thought.
I'm starting the first full week of school -- we start on Thursday, so I'll start RW on the first Monday.
What I meant by adding rule of RW to minilessons would be something short and sweet like "Remember, readers like _______ need a quiet environment to read in, so let's remember to keep our voices down so we can all concentrate"...etc.
I'm getting planned early this year! I'm pumped to start the RW!
I think you have a really good start! A couple things to think about:
I did start reader's and writer's workshop on the very first day-- doesn't take much time- they are literally writing and reading for 10 minutes IF THAT. But it does go a long way in showing them that it's something that we will do each and every day.
I didn't start meeting with kids until at least the third week and I think that it was key to how well they worked alone all year. (this is the same for writing) I might have done little "pretend" conferences where I squatted down beside them where they were, and we did talk about these meetings as special no-interupption times, but I didn't start teaching them about real conferences till about Oct. I met with them in these "pretend" conferences and during other times a day and had a good handle on where they were as readers by Oct. In this "found" time that I wasn't conferencing, I nudged the kids closer and closer to independence. The kids needed a lot of me at the beginning, but then I started saying things like, "I'lm going to see if I can sit here and write down all the great things I see without and you can carry on all by yourselves for the whole 10 minute workshop today." Then I would read all the great things I wrote. I know Kathy Collins starts meeting with kids to find out where they are, but I just think that there are too many tiny small behaviors that go on, and you can't let one little one slip through the cracks if you want your foundation to be solid.
I love your idea of bringing in their favorite book... we did this at the beginning too. The kids brought it in (we called them Forever books) and it took us about 5 days to share about all of them. With each child that shared, they would start to talk about it, and I would rename it to a readerly behavior. So if the child shared, "I always read this book to my mom when she says I can pick one, " I would rephrase into, "Readers do that! They have special reading times with special people. Does anyone else read with someone special?" And we might launch into a whole discussion-- it took some time, but from there, we kept track of "Reading Habits". From that, we made a list of "Things we'll need for reader' workshop." From our Forever book discussions, we had things on our list like: read everyday, quiet, cozy spots, lots of books, etc... I think we only did Habits for the whole first week. I could weave in things like noise level, taking our time to "read", starting to read right away, and other things like that. Then the next couple weeks, I could still lead specific conferences on those behaviors.
I didn't type my plans for the first month. I know I have them written somewhere. If you end up needing any more details, let me know and I can see if I can find them.
You can tell I'm new at this! Thanks for all the helpful tips, and if you are able to find your plans, would you please let me know? I can use all the help I can get. Just sorting through all this Miller/Collins info is overwhelming. For conferences, I was just going to assess levels, but maybe I can find a better time to do this...hmm....makes sense so I can just scan the room, correct behaviors if needed, etc....more thinking.....
So the first few weeks, you just have them read out of tubs, right?? No conferencing, scan, correct behaviors, move around the room....I should add more time for book sharing from home, that makes sense.
Again, let me know if you find your plans -- you're so helpful!
I would love your input. I have never taught RW yet but am going to try. I made these lessons for the first week for several reasons....
1. I'm new at this.
2. I had to write a Backward's Design Unit for my master's with detailed daily lessons.
3. I'm helping our Literacy Coach from our district teach an introductory RW class using the book Growing Readers. I wanted to give everyone a sample of what a mini-lesson should look like.
Now I did copy quite a bit of the language that Collins uses but changed it a little to fit my classroom. I also tried to weave a bit of Miller into these lessons. I also made a grid similar to the one Bookmuncher posted. I couldn't fit it on here so I'll post it later. Let me know what you think.....these are rough drafts so there probably are some mistakes.
This is an overall summary of those five mini-lessons. This is how I plan to write my lessons in the future...not so detailed but enough information to help me stay focused. I know we can't 'script' everything out because the kids will dictate the focus of our lessons. Thanks for your assistance with this grid Bookmuncher and thanks to everyone for any feedback you can give!
Your grid was cut off on the right. I tried to shift it but it got all jumbled. I know that your font size is already pretty small, so I am not sure whatcoud done. It maybe just my screen. why don't you check it by going to print preview. I'd hate for all your hard work not to come out right.
Anyway, my next lessons follow Collins'. I'm going to continue writing possible 'scripts' that teachers can use as a menu of choices. My plan is to create 15 or so scripts but not fill in the grid until the end of the week when I know where my class is at.
WEEK TWO script topics choices will be:
#6 "What are our jobs during DEAR Time?
#7 "Be considerate to other readers"
#8 "Noise levels that are good for all readers and kind reminders for noisy and distracting behavior"
#9 "Ground rules for DEAR Time"
#10 "Readers stay focused on reading....strong readers read the pictures and the story."
Now if a teacher feels that their class does not need one of these mini-lessons then they can continue on to the other choices such as:
#11 "Strong readers notice details or new things and are reminded of things when they reread"
#12 "Readers think and talk about books with others"
#13 "Partners take turns making decisions and solve their own problems."
etc. ....again these topic ideas are straight from Collins but I'll rewrite her ideas to fit into my classroom. I'll continue this through September then just do the weekly grid for Oct. and beyond. I am trying to make the transition into teaching RW easier for the teachers in my district who are very reluctant to try something new. After reading all of your posts this year and researching on my own for my master's class I AM ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED THAT READER's WORKSHOP IS THE BEST WAY TO TEACH READING!!!! I am very anxious and excited to try it!!
I searched through my old papers from this year, and unearthed my sketched, highlighted, and crossed out plans from September! I typed them up-- partly for all of you, but also b/c now I know that I actually have them and don't need to entirely reinvent the wheel the next time I need first grade plans.
As I typed them, here are the things I noticed that could help others when they're planning:
It is entirely easier to treat a week as a "bend in the road" than it is to view each day as a separate entity. Of course, every day has it's own topic within the big idea, but when you're week has a focus, everything flows for you and your students. If I had four lessons on one topic, I would much rather stretch them to five days than start something new.
I know I've written this one before: don't expect children to be reading just right books until the second unit (Oct.) I would also argue that you shouldn't hold formal reading conferences either. I was able to hit all of my kids informally -- probably a couple of times -- and really know what kinds of books they liked (most important) as well as their approximate level (important) by Oct. It's so so so important that you are able to correct and reinforce good behaviors during this time.
Make reader's workshop time almost have a sacred aura around it. It won't last all year, but for the first month, that time of day should be the focus. You'll know it's working if you notice the kids self-monitoring better than normal and if you see that they look forward to reading time. All through the year, RW was by far the quietest time in my room. That's because I never let the noise level get above a certain point in September. Even at the end of the year, if I was doing a different activity in a different part of the day and I said, "You should be use workshop voices," they knew just where that "setting" was on their voice boxes.
There is a terrific amount of instruction embedded in these first month plans. That's because there's the mini-lesson, which in itself is the more formalized knowledge you want to impart. But within everyday of the actual workshop, there are a ton of behaviors you are trying to strive for...
Don't try to get all the behaviors at once. Make a list of every single little thing you expect at RW. Keep it with your plans, and plan to focus in on one over one or two days, until you hit them all. Once you've taught one, don't settle for the kids doing it halfway.
That being said, you probably won't see every little behavior reflected in these messy plans I typed up- that's because they were embedded into the workshop itself. While the mini-lessons were very important in building a reading community in September, I was so busy during workshop making sure the kids knew just what was expected of them.
Glad a started this topic!! So many great ideas, but no time to look at them now -- summer school - 2 more days, will post this afternoon. THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE!!! I will contribute more as well. I think if we all put our minds together, we can get the launching part mapped out!
I think those look good... I'm glad you're not jumping into just right's yet. When I was typing up my plans from this year, I found that I spent a lot of time with partners. That wasn't because I had an objective that was simply "learn to work in parnters" (that was a small goal), but because for those mini-lessons you are talking about, #10-13, they seem to work well in partners. Young children can't really internalize all their great ideas, as we know. They need a sounding board. Because of that, my kids worked together for much of the month of September.
I appreciate all of the advice from everyone who has actually taught RW. You have made my anxiety level lower incredibly! I feel very empowered and ready to give it a whirl! Bookmuncher, thanks for your first month plans. I love the idea to make each week a main topic with each day being a subtopic. Great way to stay focused and organized. One of my master's goals is to post my unit objectives so the students know exactly what our "community goal" is. I could post the weekly topic for RW so they know what our focus is and I could constantly monitor our progress and get their input on how we are doing!!!!
That's exactly what I do, and it works great. I post the goal for the week-- actually, I post the bend in the road. Like I said before, from about Sept--Nov those bends in the road are weekly. As soon as I start teaching the strategies in a really deep way, those goals stay posted for an entire month. The road becomes a little less windy!
Wow! BookMuncher, LisaP, MissGena....you guys are AWESOME! I think it is a great idea to share RW plans with each other...especially for the first few weeks. BookMuncher, I really like how you said that each week should focus on one bend in the road, and we write our mini lessons based on that one bend/focus. LOVE IT! I just went down to scan Collin's book again and I can see how she planned her mini lessons that way. My mind is just spinning with ideas now! I feel so overwhelmed because this is all new to me, yet, I am just so excited at the same time! I am going to try and write my plans for the first month, and then I will share what I have! Thanks so much everyone!
These all look so great... I am trying to marry these plans with my Responsive Classroom plans, including Academic Choice and I am a bit overwhelmed. there is not enough time in the day for all the great teaching practices I have come across this year... what to let go of and what to keep... how to prioritize... what do you all think?
My plans were embedded in responsive classroom stuff too, and actually, it doesn't take away that much time for these reasons:
1) Workshop needs to be really short in the beginning so that children are always successful and always want to go longer. My minilessons are under 10 minutes and reading time is kept to 10 minutes.
2) Talking about your reading memories, reading lives, and our vision for how our classroom should be IS responsive classroom.
3) the free exploration part of responsive classroom (in this case, the books and library) melds with reader's workshop time.
I guess I am feeling constricted by my schedule as well... but I am thinking that the RC does go together with the RW and WW that I am envisioning. I was also trying to incorporate my Literacy Centers into the RW, and I think I am thinking about the end of the year, ao I need to remind myself that the beginning of first grade is a whole new animal.
Did you also begin with Guided Reading from the start? Our school does an excellent job of assessing students and passing that information onto the new teachers...so I feel fairly confident in starting GR within the first two (full) weeks of school.
Also, I have to fit Scott Foresman in as well... Can you see how I am feeling like it is all "tight"?
You have gotten me on a roll! Lisa, I love how you have written your lessons with all the important details. Being a visual learner, I built an outline of Kathy Collins first unit and plugged in some of Debbie Miller's ideas to start the year. I am also new to this Reader's Workshop and have been trying to process the whole concept. It's been difficult to absorb because I think whole to part so much in how I want my room to work. The custodians say my room will be clean and ready for me to arrange furniture and unpack sometime next week. I moved into a new classroom, so I need to figure out where everything will go. I suppose that's a great way to start a new way of teaching. Here is my first draft of mini lessons I think I should include for my second graders. I can't figure out a good sequence though. I've also attached my rough draft for my year in review.
I love how you laid out your year... are the books you referenced in writing like mentor texts (you'll keep referring back to them)? I'm just wondering about their place, and wondering if I should lay out anchor texts that marry my reading and writing.
We just adopted a reading series and I'll still have about 45 minutes for this instruction as well as 45 minutes for RW. We have a long school day, so I can fit a lot in. My schedule so far looks like this:
9:00-9:20 Morning Meeting
9:20-10:05 Writing Workshop
10:05-10:30 Word Study
10:45-11:35 Core Reading (H-M) - Shared reading/writing, interactive reading, etc.
12:15-1:00 Reading Workshop
1:50-2:15 Social Studies/Science
3:05-3:15 Read Aloud
3:15-3:40 Academic Choice Time
3:40-3:50 Ready to go home
3:50-4:00 Closing Meeting/Reflection
I understand it's really stressful... you definately have a lot going on if you have to do both literacy centers AND scott foresman. I use Harcourt (loosely), but I've cut out centers and now use them mostly in math and the content areas. You're so right about the beginning of first grade... they are such babies. That's the part of first that I love the most!
I start my guided reading in Oct. when my kids are totally independent in their reading. Around that point, they can carry on indepdent reading with no interupptions for about 20 minutes, so that's when I start to pull groups.
"Tight" is the perfect word for our school schedules!
Your plans after day 10 can, as you say, really cement how readers stay focused and also the kinds of things they think about and talk about with partners. Before you start conferencing, you'll want to be confident that your readers aren't just listlessly flipping pages, but re-reading for a purpose, questioing, laughing, wondering, and talking. Sounds like a tall bill, but we're not expecting it to be particularly deep yet-- just thoughtful.
One tip: When we did the lessons on how readers focus in and notice things about books, I did a mini-study on wordless picture books and it turned out to be the perfect way to zoom in on this. The words weren't there to distract the wanna-be-readers-whose moms-told-them-they-should-be-reading. The words weren't there to stress out the nonreaders and the words weren't there to make the readers feel somehow like they were above all of this. Everyone was on an equal playing field and there were PLENTY of things to notice! We (myself included) had so much fun and learned a lot!
The books I have in my year plan for writing will be used to introduce the different writing genres we must do each 9 weeks. Some are expert author examples of each genre and some will be used to springboard student writing. For example, after I read Froggy Bakes A Cake, the students will work on writing a procedural piece on something they do. In Jan. when we must do informational writing, I'll read Polar Bear, Polar Bear. The animals in the book are all endangered. Children will select one to research.
I just spent like the last 4 hours writing up my Reader's workshop plans for the month of September. It was a lot of work...but it was so worth it! I am so surprised at how everything came together as I was writing them.
Please give me feedback if you can. My plans are somewhat detailed, but I was just writing down my thoughts as I was typing.
I am a 4th grade teacher and was wondering if this would work for them as well? Do these ladies publish books for 4th grade as well or would you suggest that I go ahead and use the lessons with my 4th graders. I will usally only get 5 or less on grade level and have a large population of ELL students.
If you ask me again in late July when I'm in my room, I could flip through my basket and tell you lots of titles. Here are the ones I can think of:
Favorite: Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher
3 Little Pigs
10 Minutes Till Bedtime
Note: These are books that I acutally spent "real" money on... that is, I couldn't really just happen upon them at sales (although some I did). I actually got the most by going on Amazon once, and buying like 10 or so of the very lowest prices. That core 10 started my collection.
I am going to steal your idea of using the wordless picture books for teaching them to use the pictures to tell/read the story. I was thinking of just covering up the words with sticky notes for my mini lesson, but I am thinking if I can get my hands on enough wordless picture books for the class, they can practice this strategy independantly withour getting distracted by the words!
I am really struggling with the timing of my day...
8:15-8:30 Attendance/Book Look
8:30 Morning Meeting
9:00 Shared Reading
9:15 Readers' Workshop
10:05 Word Study
10:30 Snack recess
12:55 Writers' Workshop
I have that 45 minutes at 10:45 where I could do Academic Choice Time, but I also need to fit in Scott Foresman, Science, Social Studies and Handwriting. You'll also notice that I don't have time scheduled for interactive read-aloud with accountable talk (but I guess I could fit that in to Sci/SS) I'm sorry to hi-jack this post... but how do we fit it all in?????
I noticed your reader's workshop time is 50 minutes long. What do you plan on doing during that time? Are you doing guided reading during this time as well? I am just wondering, because you may want to shorten it a bit, especially in the beginning of the year. You could fit your read aloud in during that 15 minute block (between 10:15 and 10:30)...I usually have my kids eat their snack whle I am reading, so you may want to do this as well to get a little more time in there. For that 45 minutes, you could do 20 minutes of handwriting and 25 minutes of science/social studies. I usually alternate between science and social studies units (for 2-3 weeks we will focus on a science unit, and then the next 2-3 weeks we focus on a social studies unit). This way you don't need to teach them both every day. Academic choice time wouldn't be a bad idea either for that 45 minutes. There, you could integrate your science/social studies units in the choice time. I don't know...just an idea.
I had the same issues as you (We start at 8:40 and get done at 3:00. I have to fit in an hour of specials per day plus 20-25 minutes of religion each day). I pretty much have everything set up for 30 minute blocks. I am not totally comfortable with giving up guided reading/literacy centers, so I have that for 30 minutes, plus a 30 minute reader's workshop, and 20 minutes for shared reading, 15 minutes for word work, 35 minutes for writer's workshop, 30 minutes for math, 20 minutes for science/social studies. I only have one read aloud time in my schedule (10-15 minutes), but I try and get at least two in per day. Needless to say, I am lucky if I get it all in each day! I wish I could have longer times for Reader's and Writer's workshop, but this is all I could do, and I am not going to give it up!
7:35-7:50 Preparing for the Day/Book Select/Choice Reading
9:00-10:20 Reader's Workshop-shared read/read aloud/mini lesson
needs based small groups/share
10:20-10:50 Recess -snack
10:50-11:40 Specials (art,music,pe,guidance,co mputer lab)
11:40-12:25 Writer’s Workshop
12:25-12:33 Daily Health Practice (bathroom/wash hands)
12:33-1:03 Lunch Table 8
1:03-1:20 Language Arts Skills - Grammar/Phonics/Spelling/
1:20-1:50 Social Studies/Science/Health
1:50-2:05 Expert Reader/Class Meeting
I still need to fit in 15 minutes of math drill per district requirements.
I know the Reader's Workshop is too long for early in the year, but I'll do community building activities during that time while we grow our stamina. I found that last spring when I was dappling with Reader's Workshop that my second graders could sustain independent reading for a good 30 minutes or more. They loved it! Our sharing time took about 20 minutes. Is that too long to share? I used to have my kids eat their snack while I did my read aloud, but I stopped that a few years ago. I found they were more busy with their eating and I wanted engaged listeners ready to react and share their thinking. Now we take snacks outside during recess. That keeps the crumbs out of the classroom also.
All of you are so wonderful! I am trying to get Reading and Writing workshop on its way and everyone is so kind to share their ideas.
I have been teaching for 6 years and it seems to be always changing. Thanks for your help!
I have been reading posts and blogs and professional books on reading workshop. And I love the idea but for the longest time I was thinking that I wouldn't be able to implement it. It was all very overwhelming for me. But you guys have come through. Reading your thoughts and lesson plans have helped me figure out how I can do this in my classroom this fall. Thank you so very much!
I saw a post earlier that asked how this fits into fourth grade. I am dealing with this same question? Any schedules out there for us in the upper primary grades? Do you follow the same plans each year? Do you move at a faster pace? Abandon it entirely? It seems as if most of the posters are first grade teachers.
and new to the ideas of reader's workshop. I think you still need to spend some time doing the rituals and routines of Collins in any grade. If I were teaching intermediate grades, I'd spend most of my time with the strategies in Miller and look at Stephanie Harvey's Strategies that Work for more advanced lesson ideas. I found many of her lessons were geared for these kids.
I LOVE your plans for September! Will you do this for each month of school after that point to help you stay focused? My biggest problem is, I start school with all these nicely laid out plans and then as I get into the craziness of the year, I begin planning day to day. I always have my long-term goals in mind, but I am unable to do the month by month planning like I start in the summer. I wish I could improve in this area!
As I'm looking at all these wonderful plans I began to reflect on how to get everything in. (Seems funny doesn't it to wish we had MORE time--and everyday people make jokes about our summers off). By giving up any morning work that should free up about 15 minutes for me to begin the morning meeting. Our school runs late on announcements MOST mornings. I think I'll just go ahead and begin our morning meeting when school is supposed to begin. What do you think?
I'm trying to get shared reading, word work, reading workshop (reading mini-lesson, independent/partner reading while guided reading groups are being held-sharing), and writer's workshop before 11:50 (we begin at 8:30). I'm going to need a timer for myself--I feel I'll get off schedule and the kids will be shortchanged on writer's workshop.
That will leave specials, math, literacy stations, science/social studies after 12:45.
I am hoping to do this format at least for the first 3-4 units. After that, I am sure I will just plan it week by week just because there are not as many "bends in the road," as there are in the first four months, so I will just plan according to what I notice my kids doing. I agree with you. I am sure these nice, laid out plans won't last very long because of the craziness of interruptions, needs of the kids, etc. But, it will help me stay on track and stay focused to keep going. Last year was my first year of teaching, and I felt REALLY scattered. After reading Growing Readers and RWM, plus reading all of the wonderful things on this board, I decided that I should try my best to work really hard at implementing a more "focused workshop" with units of study, rather than with random/meaningless mini lessons that not all kids will benefit from. Right now, I am working on October's plans as we speak. It is taking a lot of time, but this is something I need to do to keep me on the right track. I am sure my plans will change because they need to fit with the kids, so some of these mini lessons might not apply to my group, or I may need to teach a mini lesson for more than one day. We will see how it goes. I actually looked at your year long outline, and am trying to make mine like that. It helps me see the big picture! Thanks again for the positive words! Once I get October's plans done, I will probably post them on this board.
I can tell from your response that you really thought about my scheduling dilemma...
I know that in the beginning the 50 minutes is LOOONG, but I am planning on fitting in Scott Foresman as well (district mandated) as well as GR. In the past I have used Academic Choice Time in a Literacy Center format. It was then that I pulled small groups based on ability for GR. After reading Collins, I am thinking of giving her idea of using RW to have conferences and GR lessons at the same time. Also, it is my plan to have that 50 minutes be pretty filled by the end of the year...
Science is a great program that is hands-on called KITES (Kits in Teaching Elementary Science) and you need a 45 minute block to teach and complete the lesson. We also use Scientist's Notebooks to record our observations and findings... So I can't integrate it into choice time, it's too teacher directed. SS on the other hand may work. I'll need to think about that a bit...
I still feel that when I have the year in full swing I just can't find time to squeeze all I need to into the year... What a problem!!!!
I hear you! I am still juggling with ideas for my schedule as well, and how I am going to fit it all in. I still want to have academic choice time/literacy centers because I feel like my kids need that (they are first graders), but I don't know when to fit it in if I want to have 50 minutes of reader's workshop. I am just not totally ready to give up my 30 minute guided reading/literacy center time just yet. I am a little uneasy about meeting with quided reading groups during workshop time...I just feel like I need workshop time to be: the kids reading, and I am conferencing, and that is it. I don't know. I think I am going to see how the year goes. If I feel like my reader's workshop time needs to be longer, then I will probably mesh guided reading in with reader's workshop and just do away with literacy centers (this change will be made after the christmas break). We will see. I never thought I would struggle with this so much. But, now that I am really researching reader's workshop, I want to do all I can to make it how it should be. Sorry I couldn't be more of a help to you! I think a lot of teachers struggle with this, and no matter how hard you work to make that "perfect schedule" something always has to get changed.
I do literacy centers until about december and thereafter I use the time to extend independent reading, conduct other mini workshops or have kids meet with book clubs. So when we are studying non-fiction I do a research workshop and when we are doing poetry I do a poetry workshop. I usually do a mini-mini lesson first and they go off and read independently or in partnerships/groups. I feel like it keeps the workshop fresh and you can give more targeted instruction when studying certain genres. So when we were focusing on non-fiction I could teach them very specific lessons and know that they would be immediately applicable because they would be reading nonfiction books on their research topic. With poetry I made books with about 50 poems for them to read. It does require some extra planning though but so do literacy centers. I feel like making and maintaining literacy centers actually takes more time. This is my third year and this was the first time I was actually pretty happy with my schedule. Of course I run out of time for things at times but I feel like whatever we got to was meaningful and I think that's what's most important.
Thanks for the idea luckyteacher. I am really leaning towards literacy centers the first half of the year and then doing away with them after Christmas. I am thinking that my workshop time will be just the right amount of time during the first half, but I know my kids will need more time the second half of the year, with what I plan on doing, plus they will be able to handle reading for at least 35 minutes or more by that time. Literacy centers don't take much time for me, but you're right...they do take time to maintain and I think by the second half of the year, the kids will be ready for some change and more reading time!
I too am super jealous that everyone is able to start on their planning. I'm stuck in a horrible summer job 4 days a week from 7-4 and then grad classes 4 days a week till about 8:30. What was I thinking?! Luckily the job is only for 2 more weeks and then I have about 2 weeks till we have to report back...I think.
But having all these ideas posted already will make my life easier and seem more driven...thanks ladies!
I worked really hard the last few days and typed up my plans for October. This will just give you an idea of where to go next! I was very hesitant at planning this far ahead, but I know the plans will change many many times as we go. These will just be there to keep me focused and on track. Some of them may not make sense to you, but you will get the main idea of the mini lessons.
This is so great - thank you for posting! I really love the simple, yet detailed way you typed up each mini-lesson for the first two units. I will definitely be using your ideas as I plan for next year. You should try publishing an addendum to Growing Readers with these explicit plans!! =)
Dani- thanks for posting your plans- they look great. Thanks for all your hard work!!
I ordered the book RWM, so I'm hoping once I read it, this board will make more sense to me. With all the talking, I'm excited to start a reading workshop in my class this year. We have to implement a GR, so I'm not sure how to go about it yet. I'm sure ProTeacher will help me out!
No problem! Glad I could help! Just post any questions you have, and someone will help you! ProTeacher is great! I have learned soooo much from other teachers on this site! This will be my second year of teaching and I am just so glad I came across ProTeacher! I would be lost without it.
Ok- so this thread has been amazing! I had been teaching first grade for 9 years doing all the great things you have all mentioned here. I've read the books and even talk to teachers about how to get this started in their own classrooms.
But recently I had a grade change to K and I'm having a hard time making the switch to using RW with them. I know what good reading instruction looks like and how I want it to be, but then I'm torn by the idea of having K students do all these things. I did read Andie Cunningham's book and I know it can work, but I just want to make sure I'm getting to everything.
I don't have to teach any "program" as dictated by the district, so that's in my favor. I also know the administration is in favor of all of these RW, WW, Words their Way, programs.
I guess I'm just looking for some pointers on where to start with K.
Our distrcit has been looking for a new reading series that uses many of the types of instruction we have been talking about on this thread. I just wanted everyone to know that Pearson Learning Group had a new READING PROGRAM that follows the workshop approach and uses info from Deb Miller as well as Cathy Collins. The program is called Good Habits Great Readers. (You can see a sampler if you go to the website www.goodhabitsgreatreader s.com)
I am not in any way saying it's great,and no I don't work for Pearson. I haven't used the program but I have seen the manual as well as some of the readers and it looks pretty good. It is just used for shared and guided reading, then you have to use something else for writing and word work. They also sell the Words their Way program and push that for the word study.
To me it looks like the program I've always wanted to write and taught on my own, but never published. Just thought I would let others know in case they are looking for a new "program" as well.
Hi, Luvreading! Have you read Starting with COmprehension? (that's the kindergarten Debbie Miller) Also-- About the Authors by Katie Wood Ray is such a good read for kindergarten teachers about writer's workshop.
Heather818 or Judy are people on here that you might want to PM because they both do an awesome job of using reader's workshop in K.
That's really all I can say - I don't know if any other group of professionals that so freely share what they are doing. You're all doing beyond amazing things with RW and WW - it's truly unbelievable. Because of $$ constraints in our school district, the amount of inservices that used to take place have greatly declined. I don't feel the least bit out of the loop because of what I glean from all of you here on proteacher. I'm hoping to participate more now that summer is finally here!
I'm late to this conversation but very excited to have found it. I have actually just started reading/rereading Growing Readers. I got the book late last year, but you know how that goes. Anyhow, I managed to get into a workshop through Oakland ISD (MI) and I will be seeing Kathy Collins on August 3rd (very excited about that!)- I'll report back anything I get. Anyhow, the lessons have been great and have given me a lot to think about and some great lessons to start and build off.
Not sure if you'll read this - can't figure out how to email you. I saw Kathy Collins last year (I'm from MI too - and teach in Oakland Cty) she is amazing. Very down to earth, entertaining, and although she's not a first grade teacher anymore she still remembers the "reality" of teaching and can relate to our situation(s). You'll love her!!!!!
She is so funny! I laugh all afternoon with her, I am taking the summer institute and she is my large group 'teacher'. You will really enjoy her. Take your book, I find myself jotting my notes right in the book. which is good because I usually have no clue when I read my notes.
I'm on vacation and I have my DH's computer... can't remember my password, so I'm logging in as a guest...
Book Look is just a snazzy name for looking at books! Instead of having Morning Work (which, btw I have had all 14 years of my teaching career!) I am going to have my kids put their things away and do my duties in the morning and they will be having free choice reading... I am planning for them to be looking at books in partnerships, independently, or in small groups... I was also planning (as the year moves along ) for them to return nightly reading books, perhaps pick out another and also "shop" for books during this time. I think it will be a challenge in the beginning (noise level, on-task behavior) but as we move along in RW, the value of this free reading time will become apparent to the children.
Anyone else do a Book Look in the morning instead of Morning Work? How does it go for you?
I like that idea. I think that Morning Work is more work for me and was thinking of something else to do. The couple of times this year that I forgot to copy (why did I say couple, it was more than a couple) something for morning work, I let the kids read from their book bags, and they did just fine. I think I like your idea. Thanks!
Katie was great! The conference stemmed from around her new book Study Driven which is how to go about putting together your own units of study.
I think one of the big things was that many of us who use UOS took away was that we need to slow down a bit and really take a break between them and allow the kids to work on other writing. During this time we need to do a lot of front loading of the next type of writing we want them to do. I had her book About the Authors, and I did a lot of the discussions about the books so this wasn't too new to me.
I know for myself I like the idea of putting together some units that will suit my needs. I personally had About the Authors before I got UOS so I did some things more in line with that vs. UOS, I do like the punctuation unit that Lisa does in About the Authors and I think I will fit that in somewhere - where I don't know it will really depend on the kids and what they are able to do.
We had to do a writing during this and did a "slice of life" writing, I know when we broke up into grade level groups the conversation went again to UOS, and a lot of us agreed that we would open our writing of Small Moments and encourage different kinds of writing like that. So many of the little guys struggle with that particular unit - we all laughed about how long we ended up doing it. Of course I also walked away with a huge list children's books that I want to buy now ! She had a lot of her books that she used on her computer scanned in so we could see them.
She also jut completed and sent off a book before coming to the conference the tentative title is Already Ready - she co-authored it and it is based around pre-school and kindergarten writing. She thinks it might be out in January or early into next year. It has a lot of examples so it might take longer becuase of those to publish. I know another book to put on the list of professional development reading .
Thanks for sharing, Karen! Boy, could we use a book on the market about pre-K/K writers. By the title, I'm assuming that it is JUST the thing we need: something to help teachers celebrate what young children already have and build on it. How much time do you plan between units? I know that she does this in Growing Readers and About the Authors, but I haven't tried it. It would drastically cut down the number of units I could do, but I definately see the value in it.
On the morning work discussion: I've had my kids read around the room for the last two years, instead of morning work. It is the most calming, joyful way to start a day. There is absolutely NO stress associated with it, and the kids really do some of their best reading at this time. My kids are allowed to read anything, anywhere, with anyone during this time. Some read the room, some sing, some look at big books, some retell and reread read alouds-- but everyone loves it. They unpack their bookbags so quickly to get to this time of day! When the student whose job is "music maker" puts on our morning song, everyone finishes what they were doing and gathers in a circle to start the greeting.
Bookmuncher- I have read Starting with Comprehension and I enjoyed it. When I first got my k job I read it, and now and re-reading to start the new school year to refresh.
I had never used centers in first grade and when I got to K, many people told me I had to have centers. I have a full day program and know they need time to play and explore, but I wanted my Centers to be just that, play and explore; not made for learning a specific skill (that's my job). I don't mind the centers to reinforce, but didn't want to use them during group work.
Anyway- now that I've taught with Centers for a year, I can see how they can change through the year. So my new thoughts are to:
1st Quarter- spend time with all of the "hows" and expectations of reading workshop- many of the topics most people are thinking about for the first month of the year, During this time, I will introduce some of the centers, practice them and then make sure they understand that these will be used during our free time later in the day.
2nd Quarter- (December?)- 3rd Quarter- (Feb?)begin time in RW and work with children one-on-one or in small groups to help with the workshop process. Reinforce skills with those who need a bit of support. The centers I taught will now be used for free time and inside recess.
4th Quarter- All RW time.
Of course I will be teaching comprehension mainly during the 3rd-4th quarter after haing modeled during my read alouds from the beginning of the year. WW and word study will be taught too, but during different times of the day.
From what she told us about the book it is a study on how kids can expand their writing in all its 4 year old glory when teachers really think aloud and discuss the texts with the students. They didn't do any scribing on the books (although in her slides of the books she had typed up what the kids said so we could see the thinking going on), they just had the kids tell them about the books, what they added and why. Some of the non-fiction based books were really amazing to look at. I can't wait to see it because it really emphasizes (from what I gathered) teaching in the units with good literature and letting them have a go - without forcing it - so it's still very developmentally appropriate.
As far as the units - I am not sure how I am going to space it. Right now I need to go through my books, think about which ones I am going to use and how they can all still flow and how I will set up my reading workshop to compliment this. I have been looking through the posts on Reading Workshop so this has given me some material to work with and I am hoping I'll get some more when I see Kathy Collins in early August. I would like to get The Teaching Behind About the Authors DVD - and see how some of this looked in Lisa's room and how I can incorporate that into my teaching and what I do.
One of the things I might try is using poetry across the year and not having to worry as much about getting that unit in. I do poetry/song books with the kids and I am looking through poetry right now and I think that will be easy to slip in as an extra read aloud and incorporate some of this into my shared writing. It also gives them a chance to hear lots of language used in lots of ways so maybe this will beef up their use of descriptive language. That's just one thought on freeing up some of my year scheduling time - I'm not sure yet. Any thoughts anyone?
I was awestruck with your plans. They show so much thought into the RW process. How long have you been doing RW? The plans reflect someone who really feels comfortable with the process. I need to combine RW with a reading program and therefore really can't check into a solid RW. I am trying however to console both HT and RW. Any suggestions?
I think that you just need to start at the beginning when using RW in K. I am just plowing through and reading everything I can to try and get the answers I need to develop a strong workshop. I started RW and WW last year. Our district has embraced WW and all the k-5 are doing it...however, they have not embaced RW so I am tackling that on my own. I spend a good deal of time with the launching. I think that the time that you spend on setting up the good habits your children need as well as the independence they will need to show is well worth that time you spend in the beginning of the year. We have to use HT as well. HOwever, I would stick in the beginning with developing these habits and go from there.
I agree with everything you said and I guess I knew it all in my heart. I work on a "team" that's not really all that together in a new district. Sometimes it's so easy to doubt that what you are doing is good, no I mean GREAT instruction for kids. I just have to be true to what I know is great and the rest will follow. Thanks for the advice...
Thanks so much for the reply. I am going to be starting RW in my first grade class this year also, and I love the idea of "Book Look." Worksheets just doesn't cut it anymore. I think your idea is great and I will incorporate it into my plans. I agree there may be noise at first, but usually those things smooth out with time. Happy vacation.
I am sure that you are right on target! I think that a lot depends on the class you have a particular year as well. Since last year was my first year doing it and I do not know the kind of class I will have this coming year, pacing is always difficult. All of us, working together will make a difference for our children even if there are several barriers in the way....all is temporary for sure!
choice read or write. I love the term "book look" but want to give kids the option to write as well. It is a wonderful day to start the day. I have plenty of time to meet with kids for quick interventions and get housekeeping duties like attendance done. The kids (2nd graders for the past 2 years) learned the routine quickly and very much enjoyed the laid back nature of the time. They could read ANYTHING or write ANYTHING. The only "rule" was at most 2 kids could read together. Otherwise the noise got out of hand. This time was used just as you described... to exchange take home books, partner read, enjoy a magazine or challenging text, etc. On a good day, the productive hum in the room was a delight.
Wow! What a great thread! Thanks to everyone who posted for giving me lots to think about. There are some AMAZING plans for reading workshop.
I wish that I had a bit more time in the morning for choice reading. I have 10 minutes before the announcements come on, and the expectation in our school is that everyone is at the carpet and ready to learn before the announcements start.
So my morning routine is pretty much housekeeping:
- change your shoes
- make sure that you have a sharpened pencil
- write your homework in your agenda (school requirement)
- choose a new home reading book
- change a book from your book bag if you like
- sit down on the carpet
- read the morning message (often has an interactive component such as a partner chat or a riddle)
By then, it's usually time for the announcements to start. The morning bell rings at 8:00. By 8:15 we've started our morning meeting.
What a great discussion! So many great ideas! I've learned so much from reading all the posts. I feel like I need to get busy even though school does not start until September 4!
As far as morning work goes, at my school every first grade follows the same schedule for the most part so we all have to begin our day with developmental play which includes:
I also incorporate other projects like jewelry making, simple sewing, science experiments as the year progresses.
We have a very high ELL population at our school and this is considered an important time of the day for oral language development.
Since we do this in the morning I moved choice reading to another time of the day - right before lunch. I do like the idea of doing it in the morning too and there are days when I am assessing and want it to be a little quiter that I move it to the morning. I think it is just important that the kids can do it at some point in the day. Choice reading is their favorite time of the day and I've learned so much about them from watching what they choose to do during this time.
maybe you could call it Book Look/Quick Write? Just a thought. I think with 3rd it's definately appropriate to expect them to write and read in the morning and give them a choice about it. I am really all about choice in my classroom. I teach first, but only 2 years ago taught third! I wish I had spoken to you then, b/c Morning Work was the bane of my existance in 3rd!!!!
Thanks! I don't think they are going to be too much. I took most of my lessons right from Kathy Collin's book; Growing Readers. She teaches in a first grade classroom. The key is to start slow, and to model, model, model. Once the kids get into the whole format of RW, they adjust to it and it is their favorite part of the day. This is my second year of teaching and I implemented RW last year, but didn't know a whole lot about it. Needless to say, I was just kind of winging it. After reading Collins and Miller and reading all of the wonderful things on this board, I feel that this is the best way to teach kids reading. I hate the basal, and I never like it from day one. RW is way more meaningful and it really makes kids think about their reading. Like I said, this is going to be my first year of really digging into RW, and doing it the way that Collins and Miller have it set up, so I am going to be learning as I go. Right now, from what I have written up so far, I think that it is going to be just right for my kids. If not, than I'll make adjustments as needed.
Thanks for the great lesson plan samples for Sept. and Oct. I just finished laying them out similar to yours and used GR and RWM as well. I've never taught RW yet but feel very confident now that I have the first two months planned. I see that Collins continues with another unit that I could write up for November/December but I've heard others say that they went with RWM when it comes to teaching the strategies. Do you envision using the same format as Collins did? (Connection, Teaching point/demonstration, Active Engagement, Link to On-going Work)? I'll keep plugging away. Thanks for the help and motivation to get started!
Your welcome! Glad they helped you get started! I am very excited and very overwhelmed at the same time! It seems like all I have been doing these past 6 weeks is researching and getting things ready to set up reader's workshop...I haven't had time to even think about anything else! I am thinking that for Nov/Dec I am going to do Collins and then a little bit of Miller. With Collins she does a great unit on retelling, so I think I will focus on that for a couple of weeks and then move onto making connections/schema (these two are in Collins and Miller). After the Christmas break, I am planning on using RWM and I will pull from Collin's when I need more guidance. I am thinking in January, I will introduce talk back journals. I am planning on using Collin's format for my mini lessons. I like the way she does her mini lessons and they keep the kids focused because the teacher isn't doing all of the talking; the kids are also participating through active engagement.
Like I said, I am very excited to get started, but I feel a bit stressed. I am trying to organize my books for my classroom library, and I am just about done, but now I feel like I don't have enough books. Oh well, at least I can make use of the school and public libraries when I need to. Are you planning on writing up Nov/Dec plans before school starts? If you do, maybe we can share ideas with one another. I am going to try my darndest to get Nov/Dec plans ready before school starts because I know that I will not be able to have time for it once I get in my classroom!
Hi, I think you misunderstood me. I teach first grade, what grade do you teach? I thought I read somewhere on this thread that you taught 2nd grade. I wondered if I could use your plan for first grade. I think you are doing a fantasic job!! I love what you have shared.
If you get a chance and are willing can you share your plans for November/December. I read both books last summer and it was all so hard to understand. I did a little bit with RW but not much. I plan to do a lot with it this year and TeacherDani your plans have been so helpful. I read over your plans then read the chapter then it all is clear to me. Thanks for sharing your plans here and I would love to see what you have planned next for RW.
Yes I understand how you feel about being stressed. I've done nothing but eat, sleep and drink RW. I will eventually get started on my Nov./Dec. plans. I need to give my brain a break for a few weeks first. I sure don't want all of this 'pre-planning' to go to waste. Did you find that you did need to teach all of these 'bends in the road' or did you skip a few? I know I'll make adjustments along the way. IT IS nice to have a baseline to start from. I'll let you know when I get started or finished with Nov./Dec. I'll stick with Collins' book throughout these lessons. Thanks for the advice. Good luck with getting your room set up. Don't forget to enjoy summer just a little bit!!
I teach first grade. Of course you can use my plans! I have shared my plans because I know teachers want to implement reader's workshop, but have trouble coming up with meaningful mini lessons. Reader's workshop was all new to me last year and I found I did a lot of what Collin's did, but I needed to work more with the comprehension strategies and reading response/talk back. I didn't do much of this last year. Now, after reading Collins and Miller, I think I am ready to take it on! If you have any questions about the plans, just ask! I am here to help. Since we are both first grade teachers, we can piggy back off each other and talk to each other about how things are going throughout the year!
Last year was my first year teaching, so when I did RW, I really didn't know about Collins or Miller until about March. I felt it was too late to start anything from their books, so I really didn't implement any of their stuff. However, when planning for this coming year, I have found that I did teach most of these bends in the road last year. I feel that in order to establish a solid RW, these first two months are VERY important. What I really need to work on, is more of Miller's stuff. I struggled with teaching my kids the comprehension strategies. After reading through RWM, I think I will teach most of it, if not all, in some way or another. It is all new to me, so it will be quite the challenge, but I know that this stuff is way more meaningful than having the kids read a story, and then answering a bunch of questions or filling out a reading log or doing some sort of project to go with the book, etc. Hope I answered your question.
I know what you mean about giving your brain a rest. I keep telling myself that today, I am not going to do anything RW related, or school related for that matter. I am going to spend the day cleaning, and running errands. But, here I am...on ProTeacher. My husband gets so mad at me. He keeps telling me that it is my summer vacation and to just lay off the school stuff. He doesn't understand that teachers DO work during the summer as well. We don't get three months off for nothing.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and have fun getting your classroom ready!
For morning works I have also moved to letting the children read-anything, anywhere. I do also offer the opportunity to write. They can work on current stories, make cards, posters, respond to books-whatever. It is always interesting to see who reads and who writes. As Bookmuncher stated, it is a joyful way to start the day. The children LOVE it.
Teacherdani, you did an awesome job w/your plans for RW. I have been reading Collin's book the 2nd time around now and w/your notes it has made it so much easier to visualize her concept in my classroom! Thank you again for sharing!!!
I'm contemplating the idea of Book Look/Quick Write in the morning instead of "morning work".
One quick question...for those who write, do you look over their writing/conference with them/grade it/etc? Just wondering.
I don' thave my kids write in the morning because my time is so short-- they would love it, but there'd be too much transition and not enough extended time. By the time they got it out and got settled, the morning music would be coming on. My kids only read in the am's.
If I could do writing- and I don't know what jerzgirl does- I would see that morning time as a free write, similar to my FYOE writing time. Kids can write anything they want-- but NOT writer's worksho stuff. Mine usually like to write lists, letters, poems, notes, signs, etc... We add onto the list of things they can write throughout the year. I wouldn't want them working on workshop stuff in the less controlled environment.
I want to say how much my I am looking forward to trying RW this year. I've read what everyone has written about it and thank everyone for sharing. I've skimmed over RWM, but will also pick up GR. I just have a few questions though if you could help me out. My students do bring in their favorite book the first few days of school, but most can not read them. Would they talk about it with the class, then I read them (what I presently do)? How do you get your kids to pick books off your bookshelf and begin looking at them/reading them b/c more than half my kids can't read much yet? My books are mostly arranged by authors. Do they pick a few books each to leave in a basket in their groups where they sit? From my understanding, you do your mini lesson, then they read for about 10 minutes as you walk around and conference with them by asking them questions about their book. I just wanted to see if I was on the right path with this. What is book Look?
Also, how do you do your WW? Anything would be helpful as far as how you teach/what you teach in your mini lessons. We do journals, and read poetry together. I find writing a very difficult lesson for them to learn. Thanks for all your help
I have just finished reading Revisiting the Reading Workshop, and I have started Reading with Meaning.
I can't wait to start RW. It is a total departure from the way I've been teaching since I started 7 years ago. No one in my school does RW or WW. I thought that this year I would start with RW then do WW next school year.
I love this room. I have gotten so many ideas, and I now feel more comfortable with my decision. I know that I will meet with some resistance thanks to Reading First and Open Court. It's terrible to have BOTH of these in my school.
Thanks so much for the mini-lessons and support. I am going to need it.
Hi, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who posted on this thread. I am new to Proteacher and starting in September my school is expecting me to do RW. Luckily, my school purchased GR for all of us and we have had a consultant from Teacher's College help us organize our units for the year. However, it is hard to visualize what the RW will look like from just reading books. This site has now made me more comfortable in actually starting RW by seeing actual plans and reading different ideas. I noticed that some of my questions were answered on this site. Thank you again.
OK, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. We are required to use Rigby in our district and I don't see how this can really fit in with this structure. Anyone else use Rigby and able to make it work? Please Help!
I have a had a couple requests to post my unit(s) that I have so far.
I used a template from someone else on here but am blanking on the name (I think it may have been teacherdani). Thank you so much to "mystery person." I used a lot from your first unit to help me with my own first unit. By the time it was my turn to plan my 2nd unit I felt really comfortable with it.
So, here goes...I hope you think it looks good.
I don't know about your computers...but for some reason when I open it on mine it is zoomed in pretty large. Sorry about that. Just go to the View menu and shrink it down to 100%.
Hello everyone! I got hooked on this board this summer and have learned SO much about RW! I will be the only teacher at my school diving into RW and I have just officially started today! It feels so good to say that! I know it's later than what I planned, but like I said, I'm the only one and it can be pretty overwhelming when you are trying to implement something brand new without much support.
THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone on this board who has posted your RW plans and mini-lessons!! They truly have been such a life-saver for a newbie like me!
I look forward to learning from all of you this year! Thanks again!
Your plans for Unit 2 were sooooooo helpful! It is so helpful to see how this can be adapted to different grade levels. I am just getting ready to start Unit 2, so your plans will help guide me. Where are you now? I am still having a hard time with my schedule....but this is my most favorite time of the day. I just wanted to thank you for all of your hard work that is helping so many of us.
Your plans for Unit 2 were sooooooo helpful! It is so helpful to see how this can be adapted to different grade levels. I am just getting ready to start Unit 2, so your plans will help guide me. Where are you now? I am still having a hard time with my schedule....but this is my most favorite time of the day. I just wanted to thank you for all of your hard work that is helping so many of us.
Sorry, I haven't been on PT for quite a while. I'm glad it could be helpful. RW sort of fell off the wagon in my room. But we did continue to do reading at our tables with the RW baskets. I stopped doing conferences. Bad bad me.
I am ready to get back into the conferences and mini-lessons though. Unit 2 is pretty much done with and I am trying to get unit 3 together but am having issues with the objectives. So, if anyone can help me out with that, it would be great!
Since we stopped doing RW for awhile, I want to go to back to Unit 2 and go back through the bends in the road with different lessons.
Teacherdani...it is Sept 2008 and I just discovered this web site...oh my...where have I been? I have been using KC Growing Readers for a couple years to shape RW. Your Sept.Workshop Plans were great... very easy to use. Thanks for posting! I would love to find something as succinct for Primary Units of Study in Writing.How did the rest of the year go?