Reader’s Workshop is a time of day when students are engrossed in reading books of their own choosing. It is a time of day when we are living a REAL READER’S LIFE- rather than a SCHOOL READER’S LIFE.
Unfortunately, there is a difference.
Real Readers talk about books.
School Readers complete graphic organizers about books.
Real Readers are always thinking about their next book to read.
School Readers can’t wait to know when they will be done reading a book.
Real Readers pick books they want to read.
School Readers pick AR books so they can get points or because it is their “level” or they just read what their teacher tells them to read.
If we are going to have this time of day for real reading- we need to teach kids what real readers do.
Let’s start with shopping for books. Right now, I want you to think about how you pick out a book at the library, Barnes and Noble etc. Do you pick based on a favorite author? A friend’s recommendation? By topic? Genre? Tell me this, do you walk into the store, find someone who works there, tell them your reading level (“I’m a Level L”, or “I’m a 1.2.”) and then have them show you where your “section for reading is?”
Real Reading doesn’t work like that. So we need to teach our kiddos what will WORK in the real world.
Shopping for books is like shopping for shoes! That’s my lesson and I’m sticking to it!
What do books have to do with shoes you may ask? Lots.
First, I want to be somewhere for shoe shopping where my kids might actually go! DSW would be a fabulous place to talk about for this lesson, but I’ve been to MANY cities, and sadly MANY of them are without a DSW- therefore our kids would have no idea what I was talking about. So alas, to Walmart I went and armed with my camera.
First- what KIND of shoes (just like KIND of book) do you want? Do you want tennis shoes (show the tennis shoes picture), do you want dress shoes (show dress shoes picture), maybe boots? What is your purpose for these shoes? Just like readers have a purpose- to be entertained, to be informed etc. I was there looking for comfortable shoes for work.
Once you know what section of shoes to be in and have determined your purpose then you want to look for shoes that interest you. Some shoes are ugly, some are cute. (Show picture of ugly shoes) Some book covers look interesting and some don’t. So maybe you start a stack of shoes you like just like you might put a few books you like in a pile. So here I am now, with several shoes I like in a pile. (Show several shoes lined up on floor)
Here is the hardest part- while I might need shoes for work- and while I might have found a few pairs I think are cute and that I have interest in buying- I need to make sure they ARE MY SIZE!
SHOW PICTURE OF SHOES I PICKED.
The lesson for “Is this book my size?” well you will have to keep reading my BLOG for that! This lesson helps kids understand shopping and selecting books. The same kind of shopping and selecting books that they can do in a real bookstore and in the real world.
Click here for the pictures that will help you with this lesson in your own classroom.