Reader’s Workshop

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So much has been happening at school and there are so many things I would like to talk about. It has been an exciting few months!

First, Patti and I got the amazing opportunity to meet with Nancy Skerritt, an amazing curriculum creator and the assistant superintendent of instruction in a local school district. She, along with a colleague, has created a reading curriculum called Reader’s Workshop. In this amazing plan, students read books under a theme and work together in many different groups to learn about reading comprehension, fluency, and fostering a love of reading. Originally, this program was designed for elementary students. But Skerritt has been working to implement it for secondary as well.

Patti and I decided that it would be a great thing to try with our junior classes. We pitched the idea to our principal and a couple of other administrators, who all agreed that it would be a great new way to further student success in our school. Luckily, our principal approved the funds to purchase books for it!

So, we have spent the last four weeks putting this whole thing in motion. It’s been an amazing learning opportunity–both for our students, and I think for us, too. We have seen the usual teenage apathy in some cases. We have also seen the other end of the spectrum, with students we have never seen take an interest in ANYTHING academic before run to the library to get the sequel to a book he has thoroughly enjoyed. We are still working through our last week of group work, but I am curious to see how the test scores reflect growth.

One of the best parts of being a teacher, in my opinion, is the ability to test things scientifically in the classroom. It excites me, even though I’m not terribly good at math or science. There are things that have occurred as part of this process that I didn’t expect and there are things that I have. But I have been so excited to have the opportunity to try it, especially in my first year of teaching!

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3 responses »

  1. Nancy Skerritt is one of the best instructors I’ve ever had–if not the best. She practices what she preaches and is a wealth of knowledge in her area. I’m glad you had a chance to hear her. šŸ™‚

    • I had more than a chance to hear her! I looked really hard to find a place to hear her speak and couldn’t find one, so I emailed her to ask her if she could point me in the right direction. Instead of telling me where I could see her teach, she offered to meet with me one-on-one and teach me! It was so wonderful of her to take her time to do that for me. It was one of the highlights of my career thus far.

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