Any veteran teacher will tell you that the beginning of the school year is a crucial time for shaping students’ behavior. If students learn good habits early, they will be able to accomplish a significant amount of academic work later. This unit focuses on developing a community of readers and fostering positive routines & behaviors during reading workshop. In this unit of study, you will find a compilation of essential concepts & practices to introduce and address early in the school year. Each of the suggested topics is meant to be introduced within the first month of school but should spiral up and be built upon over time. If you think through these concepts and develop lessons to address them, your students should be in a good place at the end of the first month of school, and you will have built a strong foundation for the remainder of the year!
It is essential that we study with our students the process of developing a sense of oneself as a reader. We also believe students need predictable structures and routines to make reading workshop a productive time for all. They need to be part of a classroom community of readers that fosters collaboration, independence, reflection, and encourages risk taking and questioning. In a climate of intimacy, readers are interested in one another and share their thinking, they trust one another and are willing to take risks, and they feel valued and included. These readers establish habits that care for the reading environment and participate in routines that “get the work done.” By developing this climate of intimacy right from the start, students will be more apt to tackle rigorous content with an inquiry approach throughout the year… and hopefully develop a lifelong love for reading, writing, thinking and learning!
- Being a reader is reading for a lifetime.
- Readers develop certain behaviors and characteristics that build community and create intimacy that supports rigor and inquiry.
- Good readers engage with text in many ways.
- There are many things that readers need in order to read well.
- How can we develop a successful reading community in our classroom?
- What are the characteristics of a lifelong reader?
- What does a good reader need?