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Workshop Model

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

Mamaroneck teachers use the workshop structure to deliver instruction in reading and writing. This model is based on the belief that children learn best when given authentic opportunities to learn. Reading Workshop includes opportunities for read aloud, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading. Writing Workshop includes opportunities for shared reading, interactive writing, guided writing and independent writing.

Workshop Framework

Mini-Lesson (10-15 minutes)

The lesson begins with the teacher providing direct and explicit instruction to the whole class. Following a gradual release model, the teacher first demonstrates a strategy or thinks aloud for a specific purpose. Students are given an opportunity to rehearse while the teacher carefully watches and provides guidance and feedback as needed.

Independent Work (30-40 minutes)

Students are then released to apply what they learned in small groups, pairs, or independently. The teacher checks in to ensure all students are engaged with the task before moving on to either confer with individual students to assess, support, and scaffold their learning, or work with a small group to provide direct instruction.

Share (5 minutes)

Students are given opportunities to consolidate and reflect on their learning. For example, the class might examine the work of a few students which reinforce the objective of the mini-lesson, or explore collectively how the day’s teaching will help them become stronger readers or writers.


Resources and references
Calkins, L., (1986). The Art of Teaching Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Mermelstein, L., (2007). Don't Forget to Share. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Ray, K. W. (1999). Wondrous Words:Writers and Writing in the Elementary Classroom. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.