This year, the students' reading program will be Reader's Workshop. Reading Workshop is a teaching method used to foster independence, interest, and a desire to read. It is done through the use of mini-lessons which, in the beginning of the year, help students to find books at their "just right" level and progress to specific strategies for reading.
While students are independently reading, they are also actively engaged in their book. They are looking for connections, making predictions, and inferring among other things. They are not simply reading, but thinking and interpreting. Teachers are conferencing with students, holding small group lessons, and having book talks. All of these components allow for a differentiated and individualized reading experience for all students.
At the end of the period, students summarize their thinking in a written response before we come back together as a group. Students then have the opportunity to share and discuss selection, thoughts, questions, connections, confusion, etc. with their peers.
A Typical Reading Workshop Period...
Whole class mini-lesson 10-15 minutes
Independent Reading 30 minutes
(Teacher conference, Small group lessons occurring, and Book talks)
Reader Response 10 minutes
Share/Discussion 10 minutes
A site that allows you to check the levels of books for free.
-Prompts to Build Skills, Strategies, and Habits in Readers by Reading Level
- This document describes the qualities of text (by letter level) and the skills necessary to successfully comprehend the text at each level.
-Moving Readers from one level to the next
- This document delineates the predominant features of each text band.
-Instructional Reading Level Expectations for Reading
- This document shows how students should progress through the Fountas & Pinnell letter levels.
-How long should it take to finish a book?
- This information explains the approximate amount of time it should take a child to complete a book at their "just right" level.
How can I help my child with reading at home?
We need your help to guide your child to grow as a reader. Here are some ideas that you can do with your child at home:
- READ, READ, READ! The best way to grow as a reader is to encourage your child to read at a just-right level.
- Surround readers with a variety of texts.
- Read with your child!
- Use the Book Level Descriptions to guide your discussions and questions with your child
I'm concerned that my child is not reading at the instructional benchmark reading level for the 4th grade!
Reader's Workshop allows for small group instruction, guided reading groups, and individual conferences that allow for the teacher to tailor instruction to your individual child's needs. We will be assessing your child frequently both formally and informally to provide instruction based on your child's changing needs.
My child is reading above the expected instructional benchmark reading level for 4th grade!
Your child is practicing many of the necessary strategies that careful readers use in order to be successful. We still expect that your child works hard to maintain reading logs, and read at his or her just-right reading level for at least 30 minutes each night. All students are expected to show growth, even if they are reading above grade level. In order to help your reader grow, we will also work in small groups, guided reading and individual conferences to help strengthen student skills as the texts become more difficult.
Grade Level Expected Instructional Levels
The charted linked above gives instructional levels for student reading.
Reader's Workshop Non-negotiables:
In order to grow as readers, all students will:
-keep 1-2 books at their "just right" level in their book baggies
-read at least 30 minutes each night
- focus during minilessons
- do the required in-school work for their reading
Book Level Descriptions
Below are the links to a word document that describes each level of books. Also in the document are recommended book suggestions.
Series Book List by Level
In the above link, you will find a recommended series book list by level. Series books are recommended for all readers, but especially reluctant and/or struggling readers because they have familiar settings, characters and plots.