Today I finally sat down and spread all my best Readers and Writers Workshop resources around me, and began the planning process for this upcoming school year.
I got up this morning motivated to do it, but before I got to work, I spent a few minutes browsing around PT where I saw BookMuncher's posting about thinking big, which ultimately inspired me even more! (Thanks again BookMuncher!!)
I've taught through Reader's and Writer's Workshop for several years now, but in the past have always sat down and planned for them separately. However after reading this particular post, I started thinking, "why in the world do I do that?!?" I mean, my gut (and experience) has always told me that my lessons are most effective when Readers and Writers Workshop have content that overlap. Sooooo -- I took the leap and tried doing things differently this year.
How did it turn out? Well after I got going, I was surprised: things, for the most part, came together surprisingly easily. This is not to say that it was simple though: I've been working on it almost all morning and all afternoon! But, I now feel so much more confident about the potential effectiveness of my R. & W. Workshop plans this year. They make sense to me. I feel like I have a true focus. And I'm hoping this will translate to my students. Because to be honest, I'm coming into this year I bit scared about making R. & W. Workshop work. I've been told by the 5th grade teachers that this upcoming group is a tough one -- that they don't do well with independent writing OR reading. In fact, the 5th grade teachers basically said that they got to the point last year where they gave up on much of it. I'm committed to stick with it --- I know the value of using R. & W. Workshop, and refuse to teach any other way --- but I'm nervous.
Mapping things out today has helped though. I've still got work to do on my plan, but I'll post what I've gotten so far. It's tentative, and there's still several big question marks, but it's at least a start. Others are welcome to take a look. And suggestions, comments, questions: please post them. I'd appreciate hearing feedback, as I continue to work on planning things out.