Notebooks, journals, and book baggies counted and distributed. Check.
Writing pens (a variety of colors, of course) and stacks of post-its, ready for use. Check.
Meeting area and classroom library arranged just so. Check.
As many of us return to our classrooms fresh off a long and adventurous summer, our minds turn to planning and preparation. Piles of post-its with long ‘To Do’ lists line our teacher’s desk, bags brimming with supplies litter our classroom floors, and books, books, and more books piled high on our student desks, ready to be leveled, ‘stickered’, and placed in our classroom libraries. As you begin your journey of preparing for the new school year, how are you planning for your launch of an independent workshop?
We recently had an amazing opportunity to spend a day with educators from the Tustin Unified School District doing just that–preparing and planning for their strategic workshop launch.
Here are our top five tips for building independence with readers and writers during a strategic workshop launch:
- Routines and Habits: Consider building in routines, habits, and expectations for how workshop flows in your classroom early on. As your readers and writers learn what’s expected of them, you will be able to maximize your workshop time.
- Anchor Charts: Charts build independence for your students. Your readers and writers will learn to refer to them for strategies and reminders. Consider a spot in your room where you can hang these charts so readers and writers can easily access them.
- Partnerships: Consider how you want your partnerships to function in workshop. Preparing for the purpose and expectations for workshop partnerships and making those explicit to your readers and writers will help build independence. You might choose to have partners assign themselves A and B (or yellow and orange) status as an efficient way to organize their turn and talk time.
- Mentor Texts and Materials. Consider how your workshop texts and materials will be organized for independence. Your readers and writers will learn where to access books and materials, including: post-its, pens, draft paper, publishing paper, and markers.
- Meeting Areas. Think about how your meeting area will flow and make sense for all your learners. Consider accommodations you can make to meet the needs for all learning types in your room during workshop.
Now, with just right books, journals and notebooks, writing pens, mentor texts, and meeting areas prepared and ready for building independence, enjoy your workshop launch this Fall!
Written by Growing Educators Staff Developer Courtney Kinney