Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's a Workshop?

It’s that time of year again! The time when we ask our students to think about the very important question, “So, what is a workshop?” We know most of them have experienced it and have plenty of schema to share with their classmates, so why don’t we find a new avenue for tapping into their background knowledge? Skip the 3 column “How does it feel, look and sound like?” chart this year and let them author their own book- The Important Workshop Book.

This year, as you read Margaret Wise Brown’s The Important Book, pose the question, “What do you think is important about a workshop? And WHY do you think that? By partaking in this meaning making experience, your students will be:

• engaging their brains a thinkers

• participating in a shared reading experience

• sharing their schema

• building community

• determining importance (key ideas)

• inferring readers’ needs

• connecting previous understandings with new understandings (making meaning)

• participating in the writing process

       o writing descriptively (vocabulary & details)

       o crafting complete sentences

       o considering words, conventions, and print features

       o practicing punctuation

       o publishing a class book

• illustrating to match pictures to written text

• exercising comprehension and collaboration through teamwork and presenting

• integrating the curriculum

• unleashing their creativity for a purposeful product

• …and the list goes on.

So this year, when you’re looking for a new way to tap into your students’ schema and set the expectations for your workshops, consider crafting a class book. You can refer to this text throughout the year when things are “not quite what they used to be”, or send mini-copies home to parents to inform them about how their child learns at school. Rest assured this is learning event is more than “cute”—it “counts” by getting at the understanding and meets our building code. * What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, it will be fun. ;)

Please let me know if you are interested in me modeling this lesson or coteaching it with you!

*ELA standards- RL.1, RL.2, RL.3, RL.4, RL.5, RL.6, RL.7, RL.9; W.1, W.4, W.5, SL.1, SL.2, SL.3, SL.6; L.1, L.2, L.3, (L.4, L.5) L.6

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