Each Reading Workshop session will begin with a mini lesson that lasts approximately 10-15 minutes. During each mini lesson, the teacher will introduce a specific concept, also known as the teaching point. Most often the teaching point will focus on a reading strategy or skill. The teacher will explicitly model or demonstrate the skill for the students.
Students then get a chance to practice the skill or strategy on their own or with a partner. This part of the mini-lesson is called the active engagement.
Components of Balanced Literacy
Word Study is the study of our alphabetic symbol system. This involves the areas of phonics (letter/sound relationships), morphemic analysis (using word parts to denote meaning), and automaticity for sight words.
Word study involves both the decoding (reading) and encoding (phonics and spelling) of our symbol system so students can make meaning from an author’s message and convey meaning by creating their own message.
Interactive Read Aloud
Interactive Read Aloud is a time when the teacher reads a piece of quality writing aloud to the whole class and stops at planned points to ask questions that elicit student response.
Students learn to think deeply about text, to listen to others, and to grow their own ideas.
Shared Reading is a type of focus lesson in which either enlarged print is utilized, or all students have the text to “share” the reading process with a group of students.
The teacher uses this time, explicitly modeling reading strategies and skills that the students need to learn.
The responsibility for reading is “shared” between the teacher and the students, although the teacher reads most of the text.
Strategy Groups are also known as a Guided Reading Groups. The teacher meets with a small group that needs to work on a specific strategy or that has a similar reading level.
Each student has a copy of the text and reads it quietly.
The teacher uses this time to explicitly teach and to have students practice the strategy they need to learn.
Independent Reading/ Reader’s Workshop
Independent Reading is a time when students read text (either self-selected or teacher recommended) at their Independent Reading level to practice reading strategies, develop fluency and automaticity.
The teacher confers with students one-on-one, prompts the use of the strategies, discusses various aspects of the text, and learns about each student as a reader.
Students may respond to the text in meaningful ways through writing, discussing, or sketching.
Independent Reading Conference
An Independent Reading Conference is a time when the teacher works one-on-one with a student to teach the student what s/he needs to learn about reading.
The teacher uses the conference to assess (research) what the student needs to learn, to decide what to teach the student and then to teach the student.