Joyce Kilmer teachers use the Reading and Writing Workshop model to teach reading and language arts. The Reading and Writing curriculum is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. In reading, this program emphasizes the interaction between readers and text. Students learn to ask questions, make connections with prior knowledge and previously read texts, and ask questions to clarify faulty comprehension they recognize has occurred. The Reading Workshop provides children a time to read literature that is “just right” for them, while being mentored by a teacher who infuses explicit instruction of skills and strategies to increase student proficiency. The model allows students to acquire concepts by the use of: mini-lessons that are strategy driven, student reading/writing conferring time, small group work, mid-workshop teaching points, and teaching shares.
During Writing Workshop, students are exposed to units of study that offer instruction in areas such as narrative, argument (persuasive), informational, research, and poetic writing. This program focuses on developing each students understanding of the writing process, use of writing, and what makes great writers. The workshop method creates writers who are focused, detailed, structured, clear, and insightful while “increasing control of conventions through rehearsing, planning, studying exemplar texts, drafting, rereading, revising , reimagining and editing” (Calkins, L., 2011). It is our hope that through the use of this model, we not only develop skilled readers and writers, but students who are passionate about reading and writing.