it's time to read
There’s a whole section of Kathleen Doller’s sunny, fifth-grade classroom dedicated to reading. Shelves of fantasy, historical, and realistic fiction line two sides of a colorful carpet, topped with baskets and bins of biographies, history, and science books. The most popular authors, including Katherine Applegate, Sharon Creech, and Jerry Spinelli, have their own mini sections.
This inviting space is where students go “book shopping”—selecting books for daily use both in school and at home. On this particular day, Doller’s students have already shopped. It’s time to read.
all elementary school students have daily time for reading and writing
A TCRWP lab in action
A quick glance around the room reveals that most - if not all - of the students are caught up in story. As the students read, Increase Miller's three fifth-grade teachers--Doller, Paul Crivelli, and Shelly Rieger--as well as Principal Kerry Ford and TCRWP Staff Developer Heather Reed, quietly check in with the children, one or two at a time. The adults listen as students describe what they are reading; then, they guide them in gaining deeper insights into their books.
This is a TCRWP lab. Reed is modeling a reading workshop for the teachers to help them to implement the literacy curriculum. She demonstrates tailoring teaching plans and methods based on assessment, giving the teachers ample time to ask questions off to the side of the class and in separate sessions. Every elementary educator who teaches English language arts in the Katonah-Lewisboro School District will have five opportunities to participate in on-site, grade-specific TCRWP labs this year.
The focus is on one-to-one coaching.
The structure of a TCRWP Reading Workshop
- Whole-class instruction on a key concept
- Independent reading during which the teacher confers with individuals and provides explicit instruction to small groups
- A mid-workshop teaching moment to remind students of a skill
- A teaching share that highlights the work of students who are using what was taught
Reading journals are an integral aspect to the workshops. Students log how much they read and record thoughts about their books. Teachers review the journals to ascertain where help is needed.
TCRWP Staff Developer Heather Reed models a reading lesson for teachers
reading illuminates students' lives
"relevant and kid friendly”
“TCRWP reading units are relevant and kid friendly,” said KLSD Staff Developer Alison Porcelli, citing examples of younger students increasing their fluency and expression by reading aloud to stuffed animals and making audio books for kindergarteners, and teachers calling decoding strategies "reading superpowers"—sometimes even while wearing a cape!
“The focus is teaching into independence," said Porcelli. "The majority of the teaching time is spent one-on-one or with small groups of students. It makes the workshop structure inherently differentiated.”
Continued Partnership with Teachers College Reading and Writing Project
This is the fourth year that Katonah-Lewisboro School District has partnered with Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP). While prior years have focused on writing workshops, the elementary schools are specifically leaning into reading workshops this year. TCRWP staff developers will visit Increase Miller Elementary, Katonah Elementary, and Meadow Pond Elementary Schools throughout the year to work alongside teachers in a lab-like setting to model what occurs in the reading and the writing workshop and help teachers to implement the curriculum. Our middle school English language arts teachers are also participating in professional learning experiences with TCRWP staff developers as they engage in collaborative study of the workshop model.