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That Workshop Book: New Systems and Structures for Classrooms That Read, Write, and Think

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For teachers who feel alone with the challenges they face, this is the book for you.For instructional coaches who are stuck and unsure where to lead, this book will show the way.It will help you work through the tricky parts, negotiate the roadblocks and think through to the future. Cris Tovani Twenty-five years after Donald Graves popularized workshop teaching, the conc For teachers who feel alone with the challenges they face, this is the book for you.For instructional coaches who are stuck and unsure where to lead, this book will show the way.It will help you work through the tricky parts, negotiate the roadblocks and think through to the future. Cris Tovani 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 teachers 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. Youll come to understand firsthand how the setup of the workshop allows students the breathing room to think deeply about ideas, topics, and resources. Youll 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 countrys foremost staff developers. Step inside workshop classrooms where teachers and students work side by sidewhere 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 allthe one youll be ready and excited to launch when you read That Workshop Book.


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For teachers who feel alone with the challenges they face, this is the book for you.For instructional coaches who are stuck and unsure where to lead, this book will show the way.It will help you work through the tricky parts, negotiate the roadblocks and think through to the future. Cris Tovani Twenty-five years after Donald Graves popularized workshop teaching, the conc For teachers who feel alone with the challenges they face, this is the book for you.For instructional coaches who are stuck and unsure where to lead, this book will show the way.It will help you work through the tricky parts, negotiate the roadblocks and think through to the future. Cris Tovani 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 teachers 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. Youll come to understand firsthand how the setup of the workshop allows students the breathing room to think deeply about ideas, topics, and resources. Youll 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 countrys foremost staff developers. Step inside workshop classrooms where teachers and students work side by sidewhere 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 allthe one youll be ready and excited to launch when you read That Workshop Book.

30 review for That Workshop Book: New Systems and Structures for Classrooms That Read, Write, and Think

  1. 5 out of 5

    Trina

    Recently, a colleague and I were talking about implementing workshop in a middle level classroom, and I mentioned this book to him. As I was pointing out how the book was structured and what I loved about it, I found myself reading it again (for the third time). Honestly, it is one of my very favorite professional books about learning and teaching. It's inspiring and well-written, yet still backed with relevant research. As a literacy coach, this book makes me long to return to the classroom aga Recently, a colleague and I were talking about implementing workshop in a middle level classroom, and I mentioned this book to him. As I was pointing out how the book was structured and what I loved about it, I found myself reading it again (for the third time). Honestly, it is one of my very favorite professional books about learning and teaching. It's inspiring and well-written, yet still backed with relevant research. As a literacy coach, this book makes me long to return to the classroom again. That Workshop Book highlights some impressive, passionate teachers-the kind of teachers I want my own children to have and the kind of classrooms that I would want my children to be a part of. Each teacher has an intentional, consistent structure of assessment, planning, and instruction-every day, all day. This book also shows how an effective coach can nudge a teacher through a coaching conversation and how teachers and coaches can work together. I love the emphasis in this book that workshop is a system where students need big chunks of time to read, write, and talking to think. Sam Bennett shares, "In order for workshop to work, a teacher must believe that what comes out of students' mouths and pencils is more important that anything a teacher could say." I agree - it's the student's thinking that matters most. This book isn't just for elementary and middle level teachers. I think that there is so much application for high school teachers as well. In my opinion, That Workshop Book is a great book to pair with any of Cris Tovani's books or Penny Kittle's books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    Samantha Bennett visits six practitioners of workshop teaching, from 1st to 8th grade, and shares their structures, rituals, routines, and systems as they show a Goldsberg's Variations-worth of activities teachers can do if they want to talk less and allow kids the time to SHOW what they KNOW via time -- time to write, read, talk, and listen. Using a "catch and release" metaphor (fishing, you see), Bennett shows how teachers should constantly pull the kids in for debriefing and mini-lessons to h Samantha Bennett visits six practitioners of workshop teaching, from 1st to 8th grade, and shares their structures, rituals, routines, and systems as they show a Goldsberg's Variations-worth of activities teachers can do if they want to talk less and allow kids the time to SHOW what they KNOW via time -- time to write, read, talk, and listen. Using a "catch and release" metaphor (fishing, you see), Bennett shows how teachers should constantly pull the kids in for debriefing and mini-lessons to help show them how it's done before re-releasing them for more workshop tasks. The book provides detailed examples and cites all of the sources these teachers are drawing upon to execute the lessons. There's something of value no matter what grade you teach (or even if you are a parent). Worth a look if you're curious about the conditions that kids need to learn.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    A collection of teachers offering accounts of workshop in their classroom situation. As professional books go, this one is fine. Focused on elementary instruction, it offers student samples and a chance to examine the thinking that goes into instructional decisions. There isn't a lot here that I haven't already gleaned from Nancie Atwell, Katie Wood Ray, and the rest, but as a secondary teacher I'm not really the audience. It might help teachers who have bought into the idea of workshop but need A collection of teachers offering accounts of workshop in their classroom situation. As professional books go, this one is fine. Focused on elementary instruction, it offers student samples and a chance to examine the thinking that goes into instructional decisions. There isn't a lot here that I haven't already gleaned from Nancie Atwell, Katie Wood Ray, and the rest, but as a secondary teacher I'm not really the audience. It might help teachers who have bought into the idea of workshop but need more background in making it work.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This is an exceptional resource for any teacher who works at implementing a workshop model for student learning. Samantha Bennett gives us a window into the systems and structures built into the workshops of six classroom teachers. This book will stretch your thinking, challenge assumptions, and inspire readers to take one more step on the journey to building classrooms where students and teachers read, write, and think at a deep level.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    Sam Bennett visits classrooms from 1st grade through middle school where teachers are using the workshop model. She gives explicit examples and student work to show how workshops are fun. I'm a high school teacher, so I realize I'm not really the intended audience, but I really did glean a bunch of ideas from this book. I love how she takes us through the whole workshop from the beginning to the teacher's reflection at the end. And throughout the whole thing, she repeats several times that the p Sam Bennett visits classrooms from 1st grade through middle school where teachers are using the workshop model. She gives explicit examples and student work to show how workshops are fun. I'm a high school teacher, so I realize I'm not really the intended audience, but I really did glean a bunch of ideas from this book. I love how she takes us through the whole workshop from the beginning to the teacher's reflection at the end. And throughout the whole thing, she repeats several times that the point is not it completely copy what these teachers have done, but rather to take some of the same ideas, structures, and methods and run with them in our own way. Loved this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Great descriptions of the philosophy for and various teacher examples of workshop style teaching over a variety of grades. Wish it had just a bit more breakdown of the workshop parts itself beyond the examples.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cory Blystone

    If you are planning on becoming a teacher, especially an English Language Arts teacher, this book is invaluable on creating a multifaceted and successful classroom learning environment. Oh, and it includes a ton of fully in-depth mini lessons. Like, from start to finish and examples and everything. THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is an excellent book. The author looks into the classroom of 6 different teachers of different grade levels to observe their reading, writing and humanities workshops. She shows the breakdown of time into Mini-lesson, worktime, debrief and shows what happens in each one, highlighting specific techniques that the teachers implement. I'm impressed. This is an excellent book. The author looks into the classroom of 6 different teachers of different grade levels to observe their reading, writing and humanities workshops. She shows the breakdown of time into Mini-lesson, worktime, debrief and shows what happens in each one, highlighting specific techniques that the teachers implement. I'm impressed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kate Hastings

    Great ideas for making learning more student-led, cross-curricular and activity-based. Would love to put this into practice, but as a librarian with 30 min of instruction time, tops-- I have trouble making the full circle. Would highly recommend to any classroom teacher.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maggi Rohde

    I can not imagine a better text about running workshop in your classroom.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Krajewski

    I got a lot of great workshop ideas from this book, even from the elementary school workshops. It also reaffirmed a lot of what I already do.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    The advice and ideas are solid, but I lost patience with some of the scenarios, etc, since the bulk of them had to do with the primary grades and I'm looking for 7-12. The advice and ideas are solid, but I lost patience with some of the scenarios, etc, since the bulk of them had to do with the primary grades and I'm looking for 7-12.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heather Wall

    One of the best books on workshop I've read. Opened my eyes to so many other possibilities for reading/writing workshop. Very easy to read. One of the best books on workshop I've read. Opened my eyes to so many other possibilities for reading/writing workshop. Very easy to read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    I am reading this for a class. It is helping me make changes in my classroom.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ms.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Bahige

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jen Eiserman

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Steve Harbula

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lorri

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Miller

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Angeli

  24. 5 out of 5

    Candy Thomas

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Little

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Paulson

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sherri

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bethann

    A must-read for ANY teacher! :)

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