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Reading and Writing Workshop

on December 11, 2017

Reading and Writing Workshop

For the past two years, the overall goal of the district has been to create a balanced approach to literacy in order to strengthen a generation of readers and writers.

Writing Workshop
The district is in year three of writing workshop. In this model of instruction, teachers are able to focus on the needs of individual writers by providing direct instruction on the writing process, craft, genre, and mechanics. Students are writing for extended periods of time, self-selecting topics, and have opportunities to share their writing with others. They know they have stories worth telling, information worth sharing, and ideas that may persuade others and affect change.
In writing workshop, teachers invite the students to do all the things writers really do: research, explore, collect, interview, talk, read, co-author, as well as work through the writing process. It is throughout this writing process that students revise, edit, and publish their writing in order to share it with an authentic audience. Teachers use authentic tools, such as observation, note-taking and rubrics, to assess the work of writers. The focus of writing workshop is on the writer and how the writer uses writing to do powerful things in the world in which they live. While writing workshop continues to be a focus for this school year, the major focus at the K-6 level is now on reading workshop.

Reading Workshop
The goal of reading workshop is to foster life-long, confident readers who read often, have choice in the books they choose, and can think deeply about these texts. The reading workshop is a powerful model of instruction that focuses on the work of a reader. Teachers model and teach skills and strategies that proficient readers use. Students then begin to apply these strategies in their own books. In a reading workshop, students have the opportunity to self-select and read a variety of texts. They also have ample opportunities to discuss and write about their reading. To measure true reading performance in a reading workshop, assessment is authentic, ongoing, and incorporated into the classroom daily.

You will notice your children coming home with books of their choice to read independently. Students are more apt to read, to understand, and to enjoy reading if they have the freedom to choose books that are of high interest to them. They are empowered with the sense of choice as they read high interest books at their individual pace and are able to take ownership for their learning. This choice helps to motivate students to read and engage with text in a positive way, therefore increasing engagement, skills, and academic self-esteem. Research has firmly established the correlation between the time spent reading and reading achievement. Please help us to foster this love of reading by reading to and reading with your children at home on a regular basis.

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