Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille
“I think that many teachers have been subjected to intensive efforts to remake their small-group instruction so that it is 'just so.' There have been so many books written on how to lead small groups in precisely the right ways that too many teachers approach a little hub of readers, gripped by anxiety over doing this The Right Way. Meanwhile, the whole point is to be personal, be responsive, and to channel kids to do some work while you observe and coach.”
– Lucy Calkins, in A Guide to the Reading Workshop
Studying and Thinking about Powerful Whole Group Instruction: Minilessons, Shared Reading, & Read Aloud K-3
See below for a full transcript of the chat
Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille
One power of reading workshop is the way in which instruction can move seamlessly from whole-group, to small-group, to individual and back again in the span of a class period. Certainly, a reading teacher’s best chance of really moving kids further in their understanding is while working with small groups and individuals, where instruction can be differentiated to meet the needs of the each student. It is not as possible to meet every student’s needs during whole-group instruction. Inevitably, there will be students who are beyond or not quite at the level of whole-group lessons. But these lessons serve a very important purpose, nonetheless. They serve to rally students’ energy around a single, worthy cause. They serve to create classroom community-wide goals for reading and common language to talk about these goals. They serve to get students jazzed up about a new line of thinking, or a new trajectory in their path of work.
Veteran teacher and author Colleen Cruz has seen it all and done it all in the writing classroom—and she’s got something to admit: this is hard work. Real hard. In The Unstoppable Writing Teacher, she takes on the common concerns, struggles, and roadblocks that we all face in writing instruction and helps us engage in the process of problem-solving each one.
Every day, our students are inundated by information—as well as opinions and misinformation—in the world and on their devices. Digital texts influence what they buy, who they vote for, and what they believe about themselves and their world. Crafting and analyzing arguments in a digital world could be our greatest possibility to improve dialog across cultures and continents… or it could contribute to bitter divides.
"[As a new teacher], I needed theoretically sound, research-based, instructional ideas to support the students in my classroom. …[and] I needed support for the logistics: getting my classroom workshop ready; ideas for units of student and learning experiences; suggestions for whole-group, small group, individualized instruction and conferring; and ways to use assessment to drive my instruction. However, I needed these logistics to include the necessary linguistic considerations to support my English learners.” —Lindsey Moses
Lindsey Moses, author of Supporting English Learners in the Reading Workshop (2015), works with classroom teachers across the country supporting the implementation of effective literacy instruction in diverse settings. Her experience and research reveal extensive knowledge, ideas and examples to guide teachers with facilitating a workshop setting that is just as effective for English learners as native speakers.
Enjoy this clip from her most recent webinar series for a glimpse into this Online Professional Development opportunity.