We will call our daily reading class, "Reading Workshop." During this Reading Workshop time, we will:
  • listen and enjoy as books are read aloud
  • learn about strategies that readers use to understand books (minilessons)
  • practice choosing books that are "just right" for us
  • silent read our "just right" books (we call this SSR time, which stands for Sustained Silent Reading)
  • respond to our reading by writing in Reading Response Journals (we call these RRJ's)
  • participate in discussions about books
  • listen to audio books
  • write book reviews
  • give book talks
  • partner reading
  • same book share reading
  • participate in literature study groups
  • keep track of our reading progress throughout the year
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Additional information for parents:
We believe the best way to teach reading at the 5th grade level is to follow a Reading Workshop format. We have created our program using the research and works of:
¨ Stephanie Harvey, author of Strategies that Work,
¨ Frank Serafini, author of Around the Reading Workshop in 180 Days
¨ Laura Robb, author of Differentiating Reading Instruction.

The goals of our reading workshop model are to develop and support readers who:
¨ Find a place for reading in their lives. (Help children appreciate what reading can do for them so they will choose to read throughout their lives.)
¨ Enjoy reading and its challenges. (Help children understand that reading is about the construction of meaning and that proficient readers are willing to work through a text rather than give up in the face of challenges.)
¨ Utilize a wide variety of reading strategies to make sense of texts. (Help children draw upon cues provided in the text, their purposes for reading, and their prior experiences to make sense of what they read.)
¨ Are able to generate, articulate, and negotiate interpretations. (Help children listen carefully to teacher-initiated read-alouds, share ideas, and allow their interpretations to remain open to negotiation and revision, creating a community of readers.)
¨ Become emotionally invested in what they read. (Giving children the opportunity to choose many of the texts they read.)
¨ Read a wide variety of texts. (Provide a large assortment of trade books, giving children exposure to new genres, authors, illustrators, and topics in literature, and helping them to enter the world of reading and literature.)
¨ Understand that images and texts may possess meanings beyond what is represented. (Help children to understand that literature relates to the world outside the text)
¨ Understand that texts are social artifacts. (Help children to understand that in order to support a democratic way of life, it is necessary to question the versions of reality presented in the books they read)

These are the comprehension strategies we teach in our Reading Workshop:
How to search for connections between what they know and the new information they encounter in texts.
How to ask questions of themselves, the authors, and the texts.
How to draw inferences during and after reading.
How to distinguish important from less important ideas in text.
How to synthesize information within and across texts.
How to repair faulty comprehension.
How to repair the adequacy of their understanding.
How to visualize and use different senses to better understand text.

These are the components of our reading workshop:
Creating a literate environment: Access to quality reading materials, time for engaged reading, and opportunities to share and discuss what has been read.
Reading aloud as the foundation: Not only a time to demonstrate fluent oral reading, but also a way of setting expectations for responding to texts, providing a concrete demonstration of the ways we want students to read and think on their own and in small groups.
Invested discussions: Vehicles for sharing interpretations and negotiating meaning, developing a community of readers.
Transactional units of study: A blend of preplanned lessons and response-centered teaching, developed as a response to the needs and interests of students, containing a cornerstone text that focuses our attention on a theme or topic of study.
Lessons in comprehension: Explicit lessons teaching readers how to comprehend narrative and informational text.
Literacy assessment: Embedded in day-to-day interactions, enabling teachers to develop differentiated lessons that meet every students’ needs.