In 6th grade we use a reader’s and writer’s workshop format in our reading/language arts classes. Every day our students spend time:
* Studying the work of professional authors
* Learning specific reading strategies that help them make sense of what they read
* Applying strategies to their own reading
* Practicing writing different genres effectively
* Collaborating with others using specific cooperative structures that encourage positive communication and social skills
Daily independent reading is critical for the development of reading skills. We devote at least 20 minutes of class time every day to independent reading. During that time I meet with students individually or in small groups to discuss their reading and reinforce comprehension skills. I also expect that students will spend at least 20 minutes reading at home each day. This is so important that I rarely assign other work to be completed outside of class.
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