Studying and Thinking about Powerful Whole Group Instruction: Minilessons, Shared Reading, & Read Aloud K-3
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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.
2016 was rich with content, conversation, and camaraderie in our Professional Learning Community blog series! Thousands of educators like you pushed your thinking through reading, sharing, and discussing the videos, articles, book chapters, and more. No doubt students all over the country and even all over the world have received the benefits of your dedication to professional learning.
Let's take a look at some of the most popular posts of 2016!
In 2009, I interviewed for the PA Writing and Literature Project (PAWLP) Summer Institute. During the interview, Deb Dinsmore, one of the institute facilitators, asked me something that I have never forgotten:
Every so often we like to ask our authors about the books that most affected their teaching, the books that served as turning points in their practice or opened their eyes to a new way of approaching their work, thinking about education, or seeing children. In this installment, we bring you the professional book top five of Leila Christenbury, a 40-year veteran teacher both in secondary English and higher education, former editor of English Journal and past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, and currently Commonwealth Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her most recent book, the fourth edition of Making the Journeywas published by Heinemann inSeptember 2016.
Every so often we like to ask our authors about the books that most affected their teaching, the books that served as a turning point in their practice or opened their eyes to a new way of approaching their work, thinking about education, or seeing children. In this first installment, we bring you the professional book top five of Katie Wood Ray, whose professional background includes both elementary and middle school teaching experience and two years as a staff developer at The Reading and Writing Project, Teachers College, Columbia University. She was also the coeditor of the journal Primary Voices K–6, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English. She has authored and co-authored many titles , including In Pictures and in Words, What You Know by Heart,Already Ready, and About the Authors. Katie spent many years as a professional development presenter, and is currently an Executive Editor of professional books at Heinemann.
Writing and reading are about using our imaginations, our understandings, our questions, and creativity, our feelings, our humanity to work through our thinking about ourselves, about others about the world in which we live. Surely this is crucial enough to merit our attention. –Linda Rief
The Writers-Readers Notebook (WRN) a place where students are allowed the time, choice, and practice of using writing to make sense of the world and their place in it. More than an academic journal documenting learning—yet not a diary—the WRN serves a range of purposes for both the students and the teachers.