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In Episode 17, literacy experts Sharon and Phil Callen talk about using the Workshop Model for teaching reading to children.

“As a teacher, you don’t want your students to resist reading. You want them to burn to read, be engaged and be impacted on a number of levels through the books they read and the way you teach. 
Speaking from personal experience, it starts by taking responsibility.
And through learning more about the teaching of reading, investing in professional development and trying new things, we came to the Workshop Model, Sharon said.

What is a Reading Workshop?

The Workshop Model is generally described as having three components, built on the recognisable theory of the Gradual Release of Responsibility

  • Mini Lesson – focusing on the TO and WITH
  • Independent Learning – focusing on the BY
  • Reflection/Share – allows for the metacognition of what has been done, achieved, tried, applied, discovered, wondered etc.

A Reading Workshop means using the Workshop Model and teaching through TEXT – a Big Book (or Shared Enlarged Text) and a Read Aloud, because I’m workshopping what I do as a reader so they can do it as a reader.

The word ‘workshop’ implies activity, action, motivation to grow, try, explore, understand. So a Reading Workshop will have a ‘Good Reader’ Mini Lesson – that is, an opportunity for readers to get ‘just right’ information because as the teacher I choose the Mini Lesson based on what my students are now ready for, what they need now, what I can bring to them and what we can try out together.

Listen here