With the recent implementation of more rigorous state standards, teachers are expected to combine reading and writing in the ELA block. Over the past decade, reading and writing were taught in isolation in many classrooms. Writing was taught through Writer’s Workshop, and instruction was often prompt-based, while reading was taught separately through Reader’s Workshop. Although the Workshop model was often used to provide instruction in both reading and writing, the two were seldom connected to one another. Research has shown that comprehension is improved when students write about what they read. Shanahan (2006) says, reading and writing are connected, as they draw upon common knowledge and cognitive processes.
Students should be provided the opportunity to respond to text they are reading, write summaries about texts and learn the process of writing. Additionally, students need ample opportunity to read and discuss text of their choice across multiple genres. Just as writing about one’s reading increases comprehension, reading extensively improves writing skills.
This course is intended to provide opportunities for teachers to master implementation of their more rigorous state standards for English Language Arts, using various components of Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop in conjunction with writing in response to reading and one-on-one student conferences. Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop consist of a mini-lesson, guided practice, independent practice and a time for reflection. Participants will engage in activities designed to provide an understanding of the key components of the Writer’s Workshop model, as well as designing a 5-day lesson plan for use within their ELA block. This activity will require participants to incorporate reading and writing, utilize conferencing and provide a description of how they will determine what the focus of their Writer’s Workshop lessons will be the lesson unit plans.
This course is divided into the following modules:
- Reviewing the Basics for the ELA Block
- Structure of the Reading and Writing Block
- Using Assessments to Get the Most Out of my ELA Block
- The Power of Conferencing
- Let’s Talk About Text
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