This summer, we’d like to return and talk about some of our most useful, engaging, or popular posts. Today’s post, written by Jackie in 2014, shows us how to jumpstart readers workshop and includes a helpful starter kit.
Please return to this topic and talk with us in the comments–what are some of your most useful workshop tools?
Think back to your first day of teaching on your first year of teaching. What were you feeling? Happy, nervous, excited, afraid? Fear. Fear was the first thing I experienced when I stood in my classroom on the first day of school. That and enthusiasm, excitement, eagerness, and hope, but ultimately, I was afraid, knee shaking, stomach churning nervous as I stood in front of my new class. Fear comes with the unknown, which is why my nerves of being a new teacher were compounded by my entry into the workshop model. The concept of the workshop model is simple, yet it’s a structure that so few of us grew up with. In turn, as I transitioned my classroom, I found my nerves could be categorized into the fear of breaking tradition, the fear of parents, the fear of students not reading, and the fear of proving rigor. I was not alone though. Interns and teachers who were new to workshop model faced many of the same fears. In turn, I created a reader’s workshop starter kit to provide my colleagues with concrete documents that helped them establish the workshop model in their classroom. The starter kit includes the following documents:
- Elements of a Reading Workshop by Penny Kittle
- Reading Letter for parents
- Calculating Reading Rates & Reading Rates Log Sheet
- Weekly Reading Recording Sheet
- Excel Sheet Weekly Reading Recording Sheet
- Book Conference Log
- Questions to Ask While Conferencing
- Book Talk Outline
- Resources for Helping Students to Find New Books
Whether you are a new teacher or simply new to the reader’s workshop, I hope this starter kit will make your journey a bit easier. Enjoy every step and savor even the smallest successes. If you have any questions or comments about starter kit, please feel free to contact me at Jackie.firstname.lastname@example.org.