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Friday, August 24, 2012

The Grand Plan...

I've laid out my plan for my reader's workshop.  Remembering that it is just that, a plan, I share it here.  I'm excited for my workshops to begin!

My Reader's Workshop Plan:


  • Establish workshop routines
  • Learn the genre of a test
  • Getting to know oneself as a reader


  • Launching the Reader's Workshop (continuation from September)
  • Moving into Strategies


  • Reading Fiction--focus on strategies
    • Visualizing, Schema, Questioning


  • Reading Nonfiction


  • Reading nonfiction


  • Reading Fiction--focus on strategies
    • Metacognition, inferring, and synthesizing


  • Reading Fiction
    • Literary Elements
    • Literary Appreciation


  • Reading poetry


  • Genre Study
  • Author Study
**This is a pretty basic structure.  I hope to write more at the beginning of each month as I lay out the month's lessons.  Finally, I am a Montessori teacher.  That means that I will adjust the plan when needed to meet the needs of my students.  That's just good teaching...really!  One final thought, each month's work should build upon the last.

Happy Reading!

--Mrs. Perrien

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back-to-School Resolutions!

Resolution setting is not necessarily my thing, as I have trouble keeping them!  However, I stumbled onto this Back-to-School Resolutions LINKY PARTY (Hosted by Teaching Maddeness) and decided to join in the fun!  I'm more likely to keep these resolutions because I'm making them public on my blog.  

Here are my Back-to-School Resolutions!

1:  My first resolution is to keep the paper trail under control in my classroom.  I'm resolve to PREVENT piles from forming by filing things immediately and using electronic filing whenever possible!

2:  I resolve to keep myself from overcommitting!  I am a full-time teacher, wife, and mother.  I need to keep my focus on my family and my work and say NO when something would take away from my kids, my husband, and my students.

3:  Remodel my master bathroom!  I know this isn't a back-to-school resolution, but it's something that needs to get done and we need to do it this year!

4:  I resolve to keep the focus on work when I'm at work!  It's easy to get roped into hallway conversations and lounge gossip.  While at work I need to be working and keep the focus on my students and their needs.

5:  Finally, I resolve to blog each week about my reading workshop!  :)

That's it!  Do you have resolutions to share?  Comment on this post or link to your own classroom blog.

Happy Reading!

Back to School and Back to Blogging!

I have been absent for several months, yep...I can admit it!  Things really got away from me with work, kids, dance competition, graduate work, etc... I really had to stop blogging.  But I'm back and my reading workshop is also back!

I'm really excited to get back to reading with my kiddos, and working in our reading workshop each day.  I've been focused on setting up the workshop for the past few days; I've been planning for the year, setting up the scope and sequence and picking books for read aloud.

For now, I'm going to write about the books I use to set up my reader's workshop and tell what I love about them.  By no means is this the complete list, I have others I use as well, and other books I've read over the years that have led me to where I'm working today!

Let me begin by saying that working in literature circles/book clubs got me started in reading workshop.  My book club program was already in full swing, humming along nicely, when I realized that my students needed a new format for whole group reading instruction.  Using book clubs and having "centers" wasn't working well and I felt as if we were fragmented as a class when it came to strategies.  That's when I started researching the method of reading workshop.

The following resources have been my guides in reader's workshop:

  • Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop by Franki Sibberson and Karen Szymusiak
    • (useful for strategy lessons and small group instruction)
  • Lessons in Comprehension by Frank Serafini
    • (Comprehension lessons)
  • Around the Reading Workshop in 180 Days by Frank Serafini with Suzette Serafini-Youngs
    • (I use this for research on structure, forms for the workshop, a month-by-month plan, mini-lessons)
  • Reading Essentials by Regie Routman
    • (This book has wonderful notes on the usefulness of assessment feedback, and a GREAT section on conferring!)
  • Mosaic of Thought by Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmermann
    • (Comprehension mini-lessons!)
  • Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor
    • (Strategy instruction focus.  Her ideas for introducing each strategy are amazing!)
  • Comprehension & Collaboration by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels
    • (I use this most for inquiry circles research and apply that most often to my content area instruction and research.  It's a great way to teach non-fiction reading strategies within the context of REAL work.)
  • Notebook Connections by Aimee Buckner
    • (I use this for workshop structure, strategy instruction, the first month [unit] of the workshop...)
  • Engaging Adolescent Learners by Releah Cossett Lent
    • (An excellent resource for content area instruction, with excellent strategy examples.  This book is actually a text I use for my GVSU graduate students.  It's a GREAT book!)
  • Solutions for Reading Comprehension by Linda Hoyt, Kelly David, Jane Olson, and Kelly Boswell
    • (I use this book as a resource for small groups, especially for working in intervention groups for "striving learners.")
  • Conferring with Readers by Jennifer Serravallo & Gravity Goldberg
    • (A focus on conferring...excellent resource.)
Finally, I also use several web resources, including the teacher's college site.  Click on their "resources" tab, it's amazing!  (

Happy Reading!