By now, you would have sat down with your child’s teacher for their Goal Setting Meeting and have lists - lists of things your student is doing well and list of things your child will be working on to improve with some good old THS resilience and self-determination. Well, I have great news! Regardless of which list is longer, our new Reading Workshop module for Prep to Grade 8 is here to support your reader.
We have recently adopted Teachers College Reading and Writing Program’s Reading Units of Study. In August, teachers from Prep through High School received professional development training with Beth Keat, owner and educational consultant of Keat Literacy based in the United States. Teachers have already been using the workshop model in writing, so adding the reading units of study seemed like a natural complement. From unrolling effective mini lessons in the younger grades to effective written feedback in the high school, teachers gained new tools to begin this school year with a fresh perspective.
Beth Keat explains the benefits of reading and writing workshop:
“The workshop model is specifically designed to differentiate for all readers- no matter how advanced or how struggling. Reader’s workshop prioritizes small group and individualized instruction by its design and structure: a short whole class lesson and an extended independent work period where students read books at their own levels, at their own pace, and teachers deliver specialized instruction to individuals and small groups.”
One of my favorite parts of working at THS is the willingness of teaching teams to differentiate instruction to suit the diverse learning needs of their students. Your child is challenged at their level by a teacher who understands them as a unique person. During reading workshop, teachers and co-teachers work in harmony through mini lessons, individual and partner conferences and guided reading groups to practice explicit reading strategies. The routines are predictable, so the class can dive into authentic learning experiences with ease. Your child is given individualized feedback daily. Both your child and teacher know what goals they are working on and have next steps in mind to achieve them.
So take a look at your child’s “needs improvement” list with assurance. The Reading and Writing Units of Study are designed to support readers and writers with exactly what they need every day. As you listen to your child read a leveled book, please remember that reading is so much more than simple recall. Your child should be actively checking for understanding, self-monitoring, and rereading as needed. We want readers to also be able to retell the story and make valuable connections with what was read. You can also help your child meet their reading goals by setting aside time to read together just for pleasure. With Booktober kicked off this week, you can both look forward to celebrating the love of reading together.
See you at the Book Character parade!