Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Little Bit of Readers' Workshop

We're four weeks into the first nine weeks and the children and teachers are settling into their routine. The Kindergarten Readers' Workshop begins with a short mini-lesson, usually working on how to retell a favorite story book. The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Caps for Sale are all class favorites. Then the children go to the Work Session where they each have a bag of books to "read." The books include some of their favorite story books, nursery rhymes, and a couple of books from home. They also have little baggies of characters and props that help them retell the nursery rhymes they are learning in Skills Block and the stories that they love. As the students "read" independently, the teacher pulls children one-on-one to assess the level of their retelling. A paraprofessional or parent volunteer usually pulls a list of children independently to practice skills such as recognizing the alphabet letters and sounds. After about thirty minutes, the children come back together and the teacher chooses a child to demonstrate what s/he has practiced during independent reading. In this last week the teacher has chosen a child to close the Readers' Workshop by showing the class how she retells a favorite story. On another day she asks two children to show how they use their character pieces to retell another story and on still another day she asks a child to show how she changed her voice to represent the little billy goat, the middle-sized goat and the great big billy goat. Already these young kindergartners feel like they are READERS!

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