Minilesson - Units of Study
I begin each day of Reader's Workshop with a minilesson. Each minilesson is designed to teach the children a skill that they can draw upon when they are reading independently, with a partner or discussing books with others. The content of these minilessons is based on both the student's needs and the scope and sequence of the reading curriculum (see below).
Second Grade Units of Study
Unit 1: Second Grade Reading Growth Spurt
Unit 2: Becoming Experts: Reading Nonfiction
Unit 3: Bigger Books Mean Amping Up Reading Power
Unit 4: Series Book Clubs
Unit 5: Fiction, Folktales and Fairy Tales
During our Reader's Workshop, I spend time meeting with children individually. Below please find an outline for a typical reading conference with a student:
1. Research a child's use of skills through observation and questioning.
2. Compliment the child to support and build upon successes.
3. Follow up with the child on prior instruction for accountability and depth of
4. Explain and model the chosen reading strategy based upon earlier
5. Guide the child in practicing the reading strategy taught.
During our Reader’s Workshop, the children meet for small group instruction in strategy groups. Strategy groups are comprised of students who may vary in reading levels, but share the same strategy needs. Strategies taught in these groups could include instruction in comprehension skills, fluency, vocabulary and decoding skills. These groups are flexible, meaning children move in and out of these groups depending on their individual needs.
Later in the school year the children will have opportunities to participate in reading clubs. Reading Clubs are similar to adult book clubs. “Reading clubs allow kids to immerse themselves in topics and ideas they care about - whether it’s turtles, fairy tales, a beloved author, a favorite new series, or the desire to get better at reading aloud to a baby brother or sister. They will orchestrate all of the knowledge and strategies they’ve accumulated for reading and talking about texts in order to think deeply about topics or texts of interest” (Reading for Real, Kathy Collins 2008).
Writer’s Workshop is the name given to our writing time each day. Lessons follow the scope and sequence of the writing curriculum, which is based upon the Units of Study for Primary Writers written by Lucy Calkins and the Teacher’s College at Columbia University. Our Writer’s Workshop begins each day with a minilesson. The focus is on techniques and strategies writers use. The minilesson is followed by independent writing time. During this time, children are given an opportunity to write about a topic of their choice. While the students are writing independently, I meet with children to conference with them about their writing and to encourage their growth as writers. At the end of workshop, students are given an opportunity to share their writing with the class or a writing partner.
Please see below for our planned Units of Study for Writing:
Unit 1: Narrative Writing using Small Moments and Authors as Mentors
Unit 2: Informational Writing: Expert Books
Unit 3: Opinion Writing / Writing About Reading
Unit 4: Poetry