The Missouri Reader Vol. 41, Issue 2 - Page 49



Classroom CloseUP

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During the second week, readers spend more time in individual texts and multi-modal learning. We focus on close reading skills and practice those in a known text: the read aloud from the previous week. Read alouds introduce content that readers might not otherwise find or texts students may choose to study on their own. Word study continues to emphasize and utilize content vocabulary.

The third week is almost completely independent. More time is necessary for independent practice as maturing readers complete matrices matching up concepts and ideas between texts. Time for conferring is a treasure during this week because students are spending more time in independent practice. For this week, word study is eliminated and the read aloud shifts back to aesthetic reading.


Reading is developmental, requiring a progression of mastery from basic skills to interpretation of text. The emergence of shame may not be immediate, but built by experiences that attach to one another other over several years. When we notice and acknowledge the affect or manifestations of emotions, then adapt our practices, and mitigate the negative internalizations that interferes with reading development.

Adapting the workshop in a way that genuinely attends to students’ needs took me many years to accomplish. Students still enter my class hating reading. But for kids like James, who made his feelings very clear at the start of this article, we can create an awakening to the power of reading through deliberate instruction that scaffolds his ability to make meaning, and in turn, shifts his hatred to love. Students first need for us to teach them the tools they need to grapple with any kind of text they encounter; they cannot become lifelong readers without certain skills. If we don’t attend to these skills as educators, we almost invite aliteracy. Our students will always maintain the choice to read or not to read. We must invite readers to read beyond necessity; reading is critical to their journey through life.


See next page for References.