My kids are really loving reading workshop! It was a thing of beauty to finally roll it out this past week and see them all so excited about their books. After explaining how it was going to work one of my students' said, "Wait, you are giving us time to read?" I said, "Yes!" I could feel their excitement in the room (this was a class of mostly readers already). The few students in this classroom that had previously told me they did not like to read or did not have time for reading are changing already.
I noted on Friday that after asking the students to go ahead and put up their journals, post-it notes and books that two of my reluctant readers were still engrossed in their books. I let them continue and did not bother them. The bell rang to switch classes and it wasn't until then that they put their books down and scrambled to pack up! :)
One other happy story to share. On Friday's we give a character ed. presentation to our 6th hour class. The theme of the month is friendship and we are e-mailed a PowerPoint to teach and discuss with the students. My mom, who teaches Spanish at my school, had popped in to ask me a question and asked if she could stay to observe. She took a seat and I continued to teach and talk to the students and get them involved with the lesson. One of my students from 3rd hour had asked if he could check out a book from me earlier in the day and said he really liked it. Of course I told him yes. In class he was engrossed with the book during the whole lesson. When my mom brought it up later I was a little sheepish and said, "I know, I should have asked him to put the book away and pay attention, however he is a reluctant reader and I don't want to discourage him at this point. Also, it was a character ed. lesson, so although it is important I felt like it wasn't vital to his doing well in class." She too agreed and said she couldn't believe how engrossed he was in his book--she noted that he didn't even look up once. SUCCESS!
I think reading workshop will really change the way I teach forever. My advanced students love having time to read and cozy up with a book. Meanwhile, they are still proving to me that they can grasp the concepts through their journal entries and through small-group lessons.
I am sorry I am not updating more--between lesson planning, grading assignments, responding to e-mails and keeping up with my school blog for parents I feel like I have not had a chance to keep you all in the loop. Hopefully I can find some balance as the school year continues.