What do you do to have your students write about their reading? This is an important part of reading workshop, and I have tried many different ideas. I am working to merge what my district wants with what I feel best about for my students.
My district uses reading and writing workshop for our literacy instruction. I love it! I have implemented reading workshop (in a variety of forms) for about 20 years now. One piece that I am working to make stronger is my students' thoughtful entries. I was having them write one strong blog entry a week plus a comment on another person's blog. This worked well for most, but for some of my students it was just too much.
Last school year, I made it one thoughtful blog entry every two weeks. This seemed more manageable for most of my kids and allowed for more time for them to read! However, about midway through the year, we were told that our kiddos should be completing two thoughtful entries PER WEEK! Ahh! Not only is that a lot of writing, it could also equal up to a lot of grading! Upon further exploration, we were told one should be a thoughtful entry and another could be a graphic organizer or something else that shows good thinking.
SOooooooooo...here I am trying to figure out how to do this and keep my mind. (what little is left of it) I am a huge believer in student choice. So I am going to set my students up in a two week rotation. Every week, half of the class will be responsible for choosing one of the responses they have done in the last two weeks and turn it in to be scored.
My current plan is that each student will have one of these in their binder and will check off as they finish different responses in the two week period. When they choose which one they want to submit for me to score, they will mark it on this chart, too. That way they will be able to see if they are offering me diverse responses to score. (The tweets and book tree options will probably not be offered as scorable opportunities) The blank columns are for weeks when they are given a different type of response option.
This is TOTALLY still a work in progress. Thoughts? Ideas? Do you have a thoughtful response method that you find to be really valuable? I want this to be good learning for the students, but I also want them to have some control, too!
Share your thoughts and ideas.