Reading Workshop is a framework for organizing reading instruction that has at its heart the belief that in order for students to become lifelong, proficient readers, they must be active participants in their own learning. Students who learn in a Reading Workshop understand that reading is all about understanding.
Essential components of a reading workshop include:
- creating a literate environment
- reading aloud as the foundation of the reading workshop
- meaningful discussions
- significant units of study
- explicit lessons in comprehension
- literacy assessment
“Time to read, choice in what one reads, and response to one’s efforts are the foundations of the reading workshop.”
Nancie Atwell (1998)
Writing workshop is an approach to teaching writing that has been around for many years. Teachers who use a workshop approach know that in order to become better writers, students must write daily. Lessons about writing are short and to the point, and time is set aside every day for students to apply the lessons they learn in their own writer’s notebooks.
Important Points to Ponder:
- Writing workshop is not a program or a curriculum. It’s an organizational framework for instruction. Any curriculum can fit into the Writing Workshop model.
- Writing Workshop should occur daily for between 45 minutes to 1 hour. Students should be able to count on having uninterrupted time each day to focus on their writing.
- Students should be allowed to write on topics of their choice. Teachers might give parameters, such as defining the genre, but students have the benefit of choosing the topic within that genre. Occasionally teachers might assign prompts as practice for standardized tests.