Sunday, June 10, 2012

Top 5 Things I learned...#4...the forgotten huddle

#4 "Whatever we possess becomes of double value when we have the opportunity of sharing it with others."- Jean-Nicolas Bouilly (writer, politician)

I have had many conversations about the set-up of a reading workshop.  Many conversations on how to keep a mini-lesson..."mini".  Often we refer to the mini-lesson like a football huddle...bringing the team together to review a plan that will help the team to be successful on the field. we send them on the field not knowing what will happen as the coach stays on the sidelines.  But what about the meeting that occurs on the bench after the offense and defense have switched places?  Do we bring our team back to the benches and discuss what worked, what needed adjusted, and celebrate success?  Share time...or as my classroom calls it...celebration time...was something I was very conscious of this year.  It seems to be that one component of reading workshop or writing workshop that often does not occur because "we ran out of time" and the cafeteria was waiting on us for lunch or it was time for a class to get to the art room! :)

I think our "celebration" time was when I wrote down the most notes on my students.  With about ten minutes left, I would call for "celebrations."  Anyone who wanted to celebrate new learning or a new book would come to the carpet.  Sometimes I would have ten students...sometimes I would have two students.  Students would share examples of practicing our mini-lesson from their own books, some students would share the completion of a new loved book, some would share a jot or jotting plan that they had created, and some would just read us a line(s) from their book for laughter, wonder, mood, or language/words.  To me...I learned that this share time was the time for learning to come full circle.  Often, I would get an indication of what my mini-lesson should be the next day based on what I saw during celebration time.

I knew that this time was valuable to my teaching and to the students.  I was later confirmed when I read this reflection by one of my students after asking, "Name a part of Reading Workshop that impacted your reading this year.  Why was this component so special or important to your reading life?"...

"Celebrations.  Celebrations helped me as a reader because it helped me find new genres to read.  Also I could see books that I never heard of that when they talked about the book it made me want to read that book.  Celebrations also helped my thinking so when I heard some people jots I knew different ways to talk to the book and think."

1 comment:

  1. I love that you called it celebration time and that it was a choice to come if you had something to celebrate!