I feel like Lucy(Calkins- you know I think we are friends LOL) taught me how to really "do" a for real writer's workshop this year, because I followed her writing series very closely. That series is an EXCELLENT mentor to get you into the practice of a predictable workshop structure. It's in my soul now, and I feel ready to expand. After going through a whole year, I know that:
1. Workshops MUST be predicatable. The kids have to know what is coming.
2. Mini-lessons actually have an architecture! There are 5 parts that are critical to the execution of the lesson! (The Art of Teaching Reading by Lucy Caulkins is suuuuuuuper awesome)
3. Conferring is an ART. One that I currently SUCK at. I'm not coming down too hard on myself because I spent the year really instilling true workshop beliefs in my head- and you can't do it all in one year. This stuff takes T-I-M-E.
I went to see Carl Anderson aka the "Conferring Guy" this year (google him immediately. he is awesome), and I studied Katie Wood Ray's Study Driven with some teachers at school- and basically, I'm ready to take writer's workshop to the next level.
Now. Reader's Workshop.
Did I do an actual workshop this year? Yep. Did I feel like it was as tight as my writer's workshop? Nope. SO....this summer, I'm jumping in to writing units of study with Candace- and I'm reading:
A lil Reggie Routman
Conferring With Readers
Small Groups HelpSo if you haven't noticed, my next goal is to get REALLY good at figuring out the ONE thing the reader needs during our conference, and offering effective strategies to speak to that need. It's hard. I tried to get good this year, but I've got a lot of work to do with reading.
I will still hit some more Katie Wood Ray this summer, I want to get into the whole inquiry part of workshop that she talks about in her book Study Driven. (you should check it out!)
I am working on some Back to School Balanced Literacy Units too but it's a lot tougher when I don't have to create something that my students need to do like....the next day! =)