Literacy at Adel Elementary
Adel Elementary subscribes to the research behind implementing a workshop model for literacy. Although the times may vary slightly, the instructional components establish the rituals and routines for seamless classroom instruction.
Reading & Writing Workshop Model:
Gather for the mini lesson: This is a whole group context that provides time for the teacher to directly teach and model the skills and strategies good readers and writers need in order to process or write complex texts.
Go out for independent work: This is a time for students to read and/or write independently. An important tenet of this time is choice. Students choose the texts they would like to read and/or write, which keeps engagement and motivation high. When students have time to read and write each day it leads to greater fluency and proficiency. Research maintains that there is a direct correlation between the amount of time we spend in pursuit of a habit, goal, or skill and our individual growth in relation to that habit, goal, or skill. In order for students to improve as readers and writers, and build stamina, it is important for them to have long stretches of time to practice.
While students are engaging in independent work, teachers work with small groups or confer 1:1 with students.
Guided Reading: This is a small group activity where more of the responsibility belongs to the students. Students read from leveled text. They use the skills directly taught during mini lessons, interactive read alouds, and shared reading to increase their comprehension and fluency. The teacher is there to provide prompting and ask questions. Guided reading allows for great differentiation in the classroom. Groups are flexible and created around reading levels, which allows students move up when they are ready. Every single student at Adel Elementary receives guided reading instruction at his or her instructional level.
Guided Writing: These are small, temporary groups designed to target similar goals that students may possess. The focus of a lesson could be on conventions, grammar, composition, etc.
Conferencing: This is a 1:1 time with the teacher. During this opportunity, the focus is teaching the writer, not the writing, or teaching the reader, not the book. This powerful time is to instill skills and strategies in a student that they can use on future texts.
Gather for Share Out: Share out is another opportunity to teach and to assess learning. Also, coming back together as a whole group after reading and writing builds classroom community and provides a sense of closure for the students. Teachers link back to the mini lesson and the day’s learning target. In this way, the reading and writing workshop comes full circle each day.
The structures of workshop teaching calls for teachers to adapt a responsive stance to instruction, taking their cues from children and planning instruction that articulates next steps or goals that address their needs. The most important thing a teacher can do for any student is to study that student’s data and plan instruction, which is responsive to that child’s strengths and needs.