Monday, October 1, 2012

Anchor Charts of the Week - Readers' Workshop

Reader's or Readers'?

Everywhere/Everybody says Reader apostrophe s.

But I like Readers apostrophe. Because it means all of us readers. Not just one single person's workshop. It's Santa's Workshop, because there is only one Santa. But there are wayyyyy more readers in my classroom.

So I notion we change it Readers' Workshop. Plural readers. Shall we vote?

Yes? You don't care?

This week has been cool in regards to anchor charts. Let me just say that I love anchor charts. I love to make them. I love to hang them. I love to refer to them many many times during the day which makes them actual working anchor charts. Here's what we worked on last week in Readers' Workshop.

Leaving Tracks in Our Reading: marking things we want to write about.

This is not my original idea. I got it from 1/3 of my Fab Four Team, Jess. She shrugged off the credit and gave it all to Pinterest. Of course. Pinterest, where all good things come from. I love the idea of leaving tracks so we can see where we have been. There are many times when trying to write about what we've read is like being lost in the woods. Things start to all look the same, no matter which direction you go, especially for novice readers. If we leave post-its, like so many bread crumbs, we can find our way back to that "aha!" moment, funny bit or confusing part. The best part about this lesson? It's like teaching a secret code. I didn't tell the kids what any of the symbols meant, they had to sleuth them out. They even gave me the connection idea, which I love.

Book Recommendations: how do we write them?

I get a little off-balance trying to teach these Fab Fours. I under/over estimate them all the livelong day. I love when I get to do an anchor chart lesson because I'm teaching myself along the way. We went over how to write out a book recommendation. I guess I don't need to tell you that Fab Fours do not necessarily come equipped to write these off the bat on their own. This was a great way to lay down parameters and guidelines. The best part of the lesson? Getting to animatedly (that means with hands flying all around and occasionally jumping up and down) talk about how the best books I've read have come from recommendations from friends, including The Hunger Games (recommended by Jess!). I even told them how some of the best books I read over the summer were recommended to me by a 12 year old at the book section of Savers Store.

When it Doesn't Make Sense: understanding what we read.

I thank God every day that Dr. Jean does not write songs for intermediate grades. I am not being blasphemous  I really, truly do say a little thank you prayer.

I am used to teaching Back Up and Reread (a la Sisters' style). This expanded version for the Fab Fours is even more fun! Do I even have to say how fantastic it is to teach meta-cognition methods to kids?

I didn't think so. You get it, I know you do.

Do you like the duct tape borders? I will never again make an anchor chart without duct tape. It is THE BOMB. (am I too old to say that?)


  1. I like readers' workshop- and I'm glad I'm not the only person who has agonized over that. Can we change it to Writers' Workshop too, while we're at it?

    You have my vote :)

    Thanks for the great ideas- LOVE your blog.

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad