Coaching Reading Workshop
Use the following resources as you work with teachers to enhance and grow Reading Workshop in their classrooms.
Coaching Conversation Starters
Reflective practitioners think deeply about their instruction — the content, the implementation, as well as evidence of student learning and engagement. Use these questions to guide your conversations with a teacher before and after a Reading Workshop lesson to enhance the lesson and help grow a teacher’s practice.
What is your primary objective for this lesson? Why did you choose this objective?
What language supports have been considered to meet the primary content literacy objective? Where in your lesson will you add, and reinforce, them?
How will we connect this objective to the other learning that has been going on in the workshop?
How will we explain this objective in words that help students to grasp the meaning?
How will you layer productive language outcomes alongside content objective?
How will we convince students that this strategy or skill will help them as readers, building engagement and motivation?
What text best matches the primary literacy objective? How will you share the text—by reading aloud an excerpt from a familiar book, an excerpt from a Big Book, charting the desired passages or displaying them on the SMART board?
Does this text reflect culturally responsive support structures you have put in place in the classroom?
How will you demonstrate or model your own use of this skill or strategy for students to see before they attempt to use it? Will you create or review an anchor chart?
Which pages or passages will you read? How will you “think aloud” to help students hear what the process is like “inside your head” as the most skilled reader in the room when you use this strategy?
How will you give students an opportunity to try this strategy while they are still with you as a group on the carpet, so that you can assess whether or not they have understood so far?
What will you say to prepare students for using this strategy before sending them off to independent work time so that they are as successful as possible?
Will you teach or review any routines at the beginning or end of the mini-lesson to help students take care of themselves, each other or the classroom during workshop?
How do you support students to settle in to independent reading prior to beginning your conferences?
How do you decide with whom to confer during independent work time?
How and where will you take notes as you confer with each student?
Will you be pulling any small groups during reading time? What will be your criterion for small group instruction?
How will you celebrate the work that students are doing during the share time at the end of the workshop?
What meaningful feedback will be required in order to help students continue to grow with the new strategy provided in the mini-lesson?
How will you reinforce the teaching point and language expectations at the end of the workshop to support student understanding and ensure on-going learning around this primary literacy objective?
Reflection & Action Planning
What do you think the children learned during the lesson? How do you know?
What language can your students now produce as a result of the lesson?
Did your demonstration help the children understand how to use the skill or strategy?
Did you notice any children struggling during the have-a-go?
Did the supports you provided throughout the lesson prove useful?
What do you anticipate your students will need next?
What did you notice about individual students as you conferenced with them?
How did you decide on your teaching points during your conferences? What language considerations did you decide to highlight and why?
How is your record keeping system working out? Is it helping to inform your reading conferences?
Are you noticing any shared needs among students that may require small group work?
Do you think your students are struggling with the particular strategy addressed in the mini-lesson or is the challenge around the language needed in order to be successful with the strategy?
What did you learn about your children as a result of this lesson? How will this inform future Workshop lessons?
How can you connect the learning in this lesson to other areas of your literacy block?
Reflect on the classroom culture during the lesson. Were the children taking care of themselves and others in the classroom while you met with this group? Are there any new procedures or anchor charts that you need to review in order to help the rest of the class work independently?
When you are observing a teacher there are several different viewing lenses you might choose to focus your observation and post-lesson conversations. Here are some ideas for viewing lenses.
|Focus Question||What to Note|
How does the teacher present the mini-lesson for maximal effectiveness?
How does the teacher set students up for success during independent work time?
How does the teacher work with individuals and small groups?
How does the teacher celebrate student learning during the share time?
How did the teacher work to help children take care of themselves and each other during the lesson?
Teaching Effective Literacy Practices (TELP)
This resource describes key elements of effective practice in an early literacy classroom. It is a valuable coaching tool because it standardizes expectations around different practices. Use the TELP to set goals with teachers and guide implementation.