Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Reading Workshop Day 1...

When I was teaching public school my very favorite part of the day was our Reading and Writing Workshops. This year I want to make this our priority in our homeschool because if I can teach them one thing I want it to be to love reading.

Patricia Polacco is my VERY favorite children's author so I decided to kick the year off with a great book of hers about the importance of reading. I read them Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair. It's about a town that closes their library to put up a TV tower. It was a really sweet book, and I hardly cried! The kids love for me to read her books because they ALWAYS make me tear up. They think it is hilarious :)

Then we went over our notebooks. We probably have too many. I may have an addiction to notebooks :) We have spiral notebooks where we keep their list of books they read throughout the year plus a genre graph to see what types of books they are reading.

They also have a brand new Reading Response notebook.  When I taught school I always gave homework three nights a week to read for twenty minutes and write me a short letter about what they read. Then I would write them back, and we would talk reading. It was a great way to get to know my students. Since there are too many books and not enough time, I decided my kids could have some homework too. So, this year they will have to read for 20 minutes and write me a letter two times a week. I even put it at the bottom of their weekly assignment page so they won't forget.

The most important one is their Reading Notebook. This is where they take notes from our mini-lessons. We are using the same one they had last year so we can just review the lessons we did last year. I will try to post pictures of this soon.

So, we basically just reviewed all these and got to the best part- reading time. They read for at least 20 minutes but ideally 30 minutes a day. For the most part, they get to pick their own books. However, this year I get to pick a book a month that they must read. I tried to pick books they'd enjoy but were classics that I wanted to make sure they read. Sometimes they also will read their Sonlight history books.

We are experimenting with a reading log where they have to write down what book and pages they read each day. I'd love to have this information because I'm interested in increasing their reading speed, but we will see if it worth keeping up with one more paper.

Day one wasn't anything too special besides a great book, but it set us up for lots of great learning together this year!

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