Classroom Close Up: Rick's Reading Workshop:
One on One with Rick Kleine
Rick: The format for Reader's Workshop is all kids are reading books at their level. And, they read silently, and that's a time for me to confer with kids and actually do real, individual teaching with everyone. The differentiation is magnificent. I can really focus in on one kid"
Student: "She made a face, at least that's why my parents, the, at least that's what my parents say."
Rick: "When he says that, what does, what's it mean 'He made a face.'?"
It tooks some training at the beginning of the year, 'cause I'm gonna be talking with kids right next to you, as a reader. And, to be able to bury yourself that deeply in the story so that my conversation with the kid right next to you isn't gonna bother you, took some work, but we did that work. And, um, I practice going around just asking general quesitons, nothing about reading, just getting them used to what it would sound like to have somebody talking right next to you.
Student: " '"Do you know why I'm doing this?" she asked. "Can I get back to you on that?" I said. "Okay, wise kid. That's enough."' "
Rick: "What's that word?"
Student: "I mean guy."
Rick: "Wise guy. Do you know what a wise guy is? You ever heard that phrase? Or the word smart alek?"
Rick: "What do they mean?"
Student: "Like, you think you're too smart."
Rick: "Yep, that's a wise guy."
Rick: "That's what she's calling Joey, saying 'Ok, wise guy. That's enough smart talk for one day.' She doesn't like it that he's saying things like that. 'Cause she says 'Do you know why I'm doing this?' And, that's a serious question. And, he says 'Can I get back to you on that?' He's being a smart alek. And, that's where your theory can start. See if he stays like that, as you keep reading. OK? Carry on."
So there's a lot of lessons early on in the year about envisioning, that when you're reading you're creating this movie in your mind, and that sometimes that movie starts to get blurry, and that threre are a lot of strategies that you can use to get your movie back in focus.
"I want to tell you something about when authors write stories for kids or for adults, when they use words that they think nobody will know, scientific words, "
Student: "Oh yeah. It says it right here."
Rick: "They'll tell you right afterwards, yeah. Keep reading and see if you understand it."
Student: "You want me to read from here?"
Rick: "Yeah. Yeah."
Student: "I'm number one on the waiting list for the next open spot. Ben suffered from narcoply."
Rick: "OK, break it up. Find the chunks."
Rick: "Get this part right here. You got it, great. Nar-co..."
Rick: "Perfect. Say it all together."
Rick: "There it is."
Student: "A condition, a condition which, which can make me, make him fall asleep suddenly at any hour of the day or night."
Rick: "So, what's narcolepsy?"
Student: "It's like, it's like he can fall asleep any time."
Rick: "Yeah. You know who else had that?"
Rick: "Harriet Tubman."
Student: "Oh, she did?"
Rick: "Yeah, which is why it made it extra dangerous for her to go try to free slaves."
For some kids, It's a fluency problem, you know, their comprehension is just fine, but they're, they're not reading fast enough.
"Now, remember one of the things that we were working on was your speed. So, I'm going to put my finger on the words, and I want you to try and keep up with my finger. Let' see how fast you can go. OK. Ready? Go."
Student: "But she fixed up Fudge's bedroom for our guests. She put fancy sheets and a brand new blanket on the hide-a-bed. Before he was born, we watched TV in there, and lots of times, Grandma slept over in the hide-a-bed. Now, she, now we watch TV right in the living room and Grandma doesn't sleep over very often."
Rick: "Good! Very good! OK. I want you to work on making your eyes do that too. OK? Good job, carry on."
Rick: Every kid has a reading log that they keep track of their reading in.
"OK. Log your reading please."
And, they keep track of the pages they read, how much time they spent reading,
slowly working towards longer and longer periods of reading. One thing that that being a good reader means is having stamina, being able to keep at something for a long time, especially as they're reading a lot of non-fiction, as they will soon. Stamina becomes a real issue. Can you stay on the reading when it's every line is something you've got to learn? Every line's going to be something you've got to process. So that's something that they're working towards all year.
"So, kids today, and everyday that you're reading, fiction book, non-fiction book, will you try to build theories about what you understand about a story, either a character or what the story's about."
I love reading, and I do think that's contagious. I think when you bring energy to any subject, anything you love to teach, kids will love it too.
Student: "I like reading. Good book, like, stick with you for a long time."