Classroom Close Up: Rick's Reading Workshop: Overview with Rick Kleine
Rick: My name is Rick Kleine. And, uh, I teach fifth grade, and today I taught Reading Workshop.
Reader's Workshop, the thing that I really love about it, it's, it's what reading really is in its most natural form. It's what we did with our children when they were little, you know. We sat them on our laps, and we read to them.
The best part about Reading Workshop is that I get to teach every student, every single day, and I get to work with them on what they need.
The day starts with a mini-lesson that I teach.
"Say I promise."
That helps kids to focus on a certain aspect of reading, and it's within a bigger unit, for instance, character.
"Today, we have been talking so much about character traits and feelings, and using more exact words to describe them. And, it made me think about how to do that, what readers do, is they create theories about their characters, and sometimes those theories change. And, to show you that I want to read this book."
We're growing theories about characters and about the story and then reading to see if that theory is maintained or whether it starts to change.
" 'Grandma! I call. Anna! We meet and hug. She tells me how much I've grown since last week.' Somebody grow that much in one week?"
Rick: "I think the grandmother's joking. Do you think she's joking?"
Rick: "I think so too. So already in my mind, I'm growing a theory. I have a theory that the grandmother and the girl are very close, that they have a really close relationship 'cause they're joking around with each other this way."
Along the way, I'll stop in moments and have them act out emotions.
" 'And beams all over her face.' Show me with your face. What's it mean to beam all over your face? How are you feeling?"
Rick: "Proud. Good call."
Or I might ask them to turn and talk to a partner about what their theory is right at the moment, or how their theory might be changing right now. I might ask them to turn and talk to a partner about how if they've ever had that experience like that as well.
"I'm sick from being nervous. You ever felt that way?"
Rick: "Where do you feel it? Point to the spot you feel it."
The physical act of acting out emotions helps them to see how authors use figurative language to, to bring forth a character's feelings. All of those things help them to make physical and, and mental connections to their actual reading.
"Thumbs up if you know what to do."
So, right after I finish the min-lesson, first thing I'll do is checkin to make sure that they know what they're gonna do as a reader, and then I'll send them off to their seats to get, I call it buried in a book.
It is slent reading, basically. They are reading to themselves, and my job is to go around and confer with them individually and, and do the real teaching then.
"Do you have any theory going so far? About any of the characters? You should. Already you should know something about them."
Student: "Oh. I get it."
Rick: Whatever the day's lesson is, the real purpose of it is so I that I can confer with kids, so that I can really focus in on one kid and give them some kind of skill work, or some kind of comprehension work for the day that they need to become a better reader.
"Any double letter will always make the vowel be a short sound. OK? So, just look for those double letters."
"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."
"What shows that he's exhausted? In that sentence there?"
Student: "The look on his face."
Rick: "Look. Read again. 'Bruce grinned...' "
Student: "Bruce grinned and slapped me five. I know he he must have been exhausted because it didn't hurt a bit."
Rick: "What didn't hurt a bit?"
Student: "The high five."
Rick: "Uh huh. So slap me five. Now, slap me five as if you're exhausted. You've been riding for eight hours. Now, slap me five. See the difference."
Rick: "Didn't hurt a bit. OK. That's the way the author shows you things like that. Very good. Keep going."
Student: "I winked at him then jumped on my bike..."
Rick: In that process of conferring, from the student that reads at the highest levels to the others below that, every single one of them is getting what they need every single day, and they're getting to practice something important for them to become a better reader.