On most Fridays, my classroom becomes a Reader's/Writer's Workshop where students are engaged in a specific writing task or reading their individual, out of class, reading book with a specific purpose. The CCSS tell us that students must be able to write in various contexts (W.9-10.10). The also explain that students be able to trace a topic or theme throughout a text and cite the evidence to support their thinking (RI.9-10.1, RI.9-10.2, RL.9-10.1, RL.9-10.2). Today's lesson asks students to take their proficiency of these skills, which we have been working on together in class, and apply those skills to their individual book.
First, I'm going to ask students to free write about their individual reading book for five minutes. The free write will get them thinking about their text and preparing them for the Workshop today. While students are writing, I, too, will write for five minutes about my individual reading book. I'll write under the document camera so they can see what I'm doing.
Today's mini lesson is setting a norm for Reader's Workshop. For the Workshop to be successful, students have to be able to focus on their work while the teacher is conferring with other students or other groups of students. I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year setting norms and practicing the Workshop process. Common Core has made Speaking and Listening important skills that a student must be able to do.
I will ask for a volunteer to model what a two minute conference looks like. We will role-play a conference and I will show an example of teacher Workshop Conference Record and a student Workshop Goal Conference Record. I will review the norms with the class and discuss how important their goal setting is. The Standards tell us that students will participate in a range of collaborative discussions (SL 9-10.1). Conferring is an excellent way for students to develop these skills.
During workshop, students will have their Student Workshop Goal Record on their desk while they read their individual reading book. They will begin class by evaluating their previous goal. As I check in with students, I will note on their Teacher Workshop Record if they met their goal for the week. For students that didn't meet it, I will ask why and have a short conference. Today, I am identifying students who struggled with the Text Evidence lessons from earlier in the week and will conference with them in small groups. I will ask them questions about the themes of their individual book and ask them to find me text evidence to support that theme.
Since this is our first time engaging in Workshop Model with their individual, out of class, reading books, I'm not giving them a formal assignment. I'm allowing students time to read, while thinking about the theme of the text. Next time we do Reader's Workshop with our individual books, I will ask them to do some formal writing. However, sometimes students simply need time to read and develop a love of literature. Today, they are given that time.
With a few minutes in class left, I will ask if anyone wants to volunteer to sit in the hot seat. The hot seat is a chair at the front of the room where students sit to share about their book. This is important because it helps students have ownership of the classroom and help develop a love of reading. Students who sit in the hot seat enthusiastically recommend the book they are reading and the audience has recommendations from a peer.