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What Is It?
Students learn to read by reading! This strategy gives students the opportunity to choose the books they read and to discuss their reading individually and in small groups. Reading workshop complements other literacy improvement strategies such as small-group reading instruction and writing workshop.
Why Is It Important?
Having students read books that they choose and that are appropriate for their reading levelis an important part of a reading program. The following excerpt from an Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) article, "Making the Difference with Reading Instruction: Reader's Workshop" by Richard Wulf-McGrath, echoes the enthusiasm many teachers share for reading workshop:
During my 14 years of teaching I have tried many approaches to reading instruction; many fell far short of meeting the needs of all my students … Then, one year, a teacher across the hall introduced me to reader's workshop …
… Successful readers need to be reading books at their own instructional level for optimal learning to take place. I have discovered that reader's workshop is the ideal solution to differentiating reading instructionbecause each student reads books at his or her own reading level.
When Should It Be Taught?
Many teachers prefer to hold reading workshop in the morning, but time of day is not as important as having uninterrupted time. Ideally, reading workshop is held daily within a literacy block along with writing workshop and any other reading instruction.
What Does It Look Like?
Although reading workshop may look different in different classrooms, some elements are common. Students have access to a variety of authentic literature, and this literature is often leveled in some way so that students can select books in a deliberate manner. Students generally have an uninterrupted block of time to read, reflect upon, and respond to what they read. The teacher usually spends this time holding reading conferences with small groups or individuals. During reading workshop, students read at their desks (or on the floor, in a comfy chair, or in another special spot), select books from the classroom library, write in book logs or other reading journals, and talk with the teacher or other students about books.
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
The recent rash of tornadoes in Oklahoma, which killed at least two dozen people, may have your students wondering why such natural disasters occur, how they may be affected by them, and what they can do to help. Use these resources to teach the geography of Oklahoma and the Southwestern United States, to explain tornadoes, and to discuss the resulting crises with your class.
Top 10 Galleries
Explore our most popular Top 10 galleries, from Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom and Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers to Top 10 Free (& Cheap) Rewards for Students and Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom. We'll help you get organized and prepared for every classroom situation, holiday, and more! Check out all of our galleries today.
May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/23-29) and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.