In a previous post, 6 Tips for Building Community in Your Classroom, I said that community building is not just about decorating and getting to know the classroom, it’s about discovering the kinds of readers and writers that inhabit your new classroom.
Building classroom community continues when launching Reading Workshop.
When setting up your reading instruction, reader’s workshop encompasses your minilesson, your independent reading and small group instruction.
It’s just what it’s called…a workshop of reader’s working on their reading. It’s typically a 60-minute block of time: 10-14 minutes for minilesson, 40-45 minutes of conferring with readers during independent reading and guided reading groups, and a 5-minute share time at the end.
When launching Reader’s Workshop, students are guided through lessons that will build a community of readers that will grow together.
During this launch, students must get to know themselves as readers by establishing their reader’s identity and mapping a plan of how they want to grow.
As they investigate and dig deep into their reading lives, students will get to know themselves as readers and you, the teacher, will get to know the readers in your classroom.
Readers have to dig into their reading past to discover the kinds of readers they are. Then, they have to set some personal goals towards the kind of reader they want to become.
As you continue through the launch for Reader’s Workshop, students will be working together to make good book choices and share the kinds of thinking they do while they read. As students continue sharing their reading with their classmates and you, their Readers’ Notebooks will grow and evolve to become an authentic representation of each reader in your classroom.