The biggest question I have heard primary teachers ask is about Independent Reading Workshops and Guided Reading. They want to know which is better. I guess it depends on your results. I have had experience with both and I currently use both. I think what gets forgotten is that Literacy is a huge component that needs balance…thus the Balanced Literacy approach.
If you haven’t already, I would encourage you all to read these over the summer if you are looking for a little change in your teaching style next year.
My day with first graders starts with Mini Lessons to teach reading strategies. Then they break off into centers (Daily 5) and I work one-on-one with students. I sit with them on the floor with a spiral notebook in hand. I have them choose a book from their book box that we have been reading or one they shopped for in our library. I take notes as they read so I can track progress or look for areas to improve in. As struggling readers are getting ready to move on to a new or more difficult book I usually will meet as a small group (Guided Reading) to go over word work and reading strategies to use.
I highly encourage Writers Workshop and Math Workshops in this same manner. About 7 years ago, a parent bought me the Lucy Calkins Writers Workshop book set for primary readers. I LOVE IT!! It helps in all areas of writing and gives you a few ideas for mini lessons too! I still refer back to it occasionally as it NEVER gets old! Okay I know I am rambling. What are your thoughts?