Literacy and Your Child

Readers Workshop is a block of approximately 60 minutes each day in an environment where all readers are respected and reading lives are nurtured.  Time is spent talking, reading independently, conferring with other students and/or the teacher, working in guided reading groups at the child’s instructional level, participating in a mini-lesson  (7-10 minutes), being read to by the teacher and sharing/reflecting one one’s learning.

Writers Workshop takes place 5 days a week as well, and lasts 40 minutes to 1 hour.  During this time, students learn through talking/sharing, curriculum driven mini-lessons, conferring, writing and reflecting.  The majority of mini lessons focus on a mentor text read aloud by the teacher and the students are encouraged to try it on their own. Throughout the year narrative writing, non-fiction, how-to books, poetry, and small moments are explored.

Guided Reading happens when the teacher facilitates with a small group of students. Books are read at their level and activities are completed with teacher guidance and support. Students who are not engaged in a book club meeting with the teacher are listening to audio books, buddy reading, writing in their notebooks, building sentences, or working on word study activities.

Independent Read is a small block of time (15 -20 minutes) when all students are reading books that are "just right". In the beginning of the year the books are selected by the teacher for the child.  As the year progressing, the children become responsible for selecting their own books as they determine which books are "just right" for them. The teacher listens to 4 students during this block of time.  The child selects the book and reads it aloud as the teacher makes notes and confers. 

Word Study and Spelling is a block of time in which we do a variety of activities and games that focus on high frequency words, spelling words, word families, and strategies for decoding words. 

Independent work.  During workshops and clubs children are given opportunities for individual choices and work. There are however, clear expectations for what they need to be doing and consequences for when they choose not to use their work time well.