During my Reader’s Workshop time, students are allowed to read a book of their own choosing (an independent/ choice book or a literature circle text they have chosen with a group). I do try to maintain this sacred reading time every Friday. Students come prepared to read their novel, or write about their novel. Some teachers in my building devote 10 minutes per day to Reader’s Workshop. This is dependent on your preference, style, and your schedule! You may have more than 50 minutes per day with your students… so you may be able to devote some amazing time to Reader’s Workshop! This is time that I allot for them to read the text, and essentially annotate that text. They do this within their Reader’s Response Log.
I start each month (this is a monthly log) by devoting some time to goal setting. The first month of school, I ask them to reflect on their reading experiences over the summer. How often they read, what they read, etc. I tell them to be very honest, that this experience is about growth, not judgment. In subsequent months, I ask students to reflect on their reader’s response log, their time in Reader’s Workshop, and their own reading skills/abilities.
After students have set their goals, I ask them to keep a reader’s response journal using the double entry journal of “I Saw” and “I Thought”. The “I Saw” is the section where students quote the text. I make this a big deal in my classroom, since citing sources is so important in future grades, so I do require that exact proper citation. (This is a skill I teach very early on in the year). This is something that could be easily changed/adapted for your students, especially if they are younger. You could simply ask students to copy down the text, and not require the page number. The “I Thought” section is for students to record their annotations- or their thinking about the text. The writing prompts have been helpful for students as well. I will also focus on specific skills each week in Reader’s Workshop, and will often ask students to respond to a specific prompt or skill. “What do you visualize while you read?” “What connections can you make?” I may ask students to identify different plot elements as well- character development, inciting incident, climax, etc.
I ask students to write five responses per week, but this is easily tailored to your needs/requirements/time.
I have included a rubric for each reader response page. This is included in the digital and pdf documents, but an editable version is included in the word document. I usually print these rubrics, and fill them out while I read the electronic versions, but you could easily highlight and comment the scores in Google Drive as well.
At the end of the month, I ask students to reflect on their reading within Reading Workshop. Students should be able to reflect back on their goals, their accomplishments, and continued struggles/areas for improvement. I then have students write a reflection letter to me on these topics, as well as the content of their novels.
The rubric is included, and once again, an editable version is located within the Word document.
Key Words: Independent Reading Log I Reading Response Log I Choice Book Log I Activities for Responding to Literature I Reading Goal Setting I Setting Reading Goals I Reflecting on Reading I Responding to reading I Writing activities for any novel
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