Twenty-five years after Donald Graves popularized workshop teaching, the concept is widely implemented but not always deeply understood. That Workshop Book changes all that. It shows a new generation of teachers how the systems, structures, routines, and rituals that support successful workshops combine with thinking, planning, and conferring to drive students’ growth, inform assessment and instruction, and increase teacher’s professional satisfaction. And it shows those already using the workshop how to increase its instructional power by seeing its big ideas and its component parts in fresh, dynamic ways.
In That Workshop Book, Samantha Bennett, a veteran instructional coach, takes you on a tour of six classrooms from first grade through eighth grade to see the techniques and thought processes master teachers use to make their workshops work. In each class she offers tangible evidence of these teachers’ practices, demonstrating how they listen to students and use that information to build lessons that propel children into deeper thinking. She documents these teachers’ moves for you with:
- classroom observations in the form of coaching emails from Bennett to each with commentary that highlights the important practices seen in each workshop
- transcripts of minilessons, worktimes, and debriefs
- specific, explicit reflection by each teacher about their workshop
- examples of student work produced in the workshop and over time
- student reflections on their development as readers, writers, thinkers, and learners.
You’ll come to understand firsthand how the setup of the workshop allows students the breathing room to think deeply about ideas, topics, and resources. You’ll also see how it creates a framework within which you can not only listen in as children express what they learn but also think deeply yourself about how best to use the information you gather for subsequent instruction. Bennett even demonstrates how the workshop can be flexible enough to fit any learning situation and how to solve common problems as they arise.
Benefit from the wisdom of one of the country’s foremost staff developers. Step inside workshop classrooms where teachers and students work side by side—where students develop literacy skills through a combination of doing what readers and writers do and purposeful, sensitive interactions with their teacher. Visit workshops where teachers learn about their students, use careful one-to-one assessment to inform their teaching, and reflect on their own practice as well. Then enter the best workshop classroom of all—the one you’ll be ready and excited to launch when you read That Workshop Book.