“No talking during the first 10 minutes of SSR each day, during the Reading Workshop (RW) students must read, respond to reading, or update their personal reading re cords, no talking is permitted during the RW except in meetings of literature response groups, RW time is not for completing home work or other school work, reading time and title logs must be up dated at the end of each RW period, restroom or drinking breaks are not permitted during the RW time except in case of emergencies, students are not permitted to disturb or interrupt a scheduled individual reading conference.”
These are Atwell’s (1987) suggestions for teachers during the reading period that D. Ray Reutzel and Robert B. Cooter, Jr., authors of “Organizing for Effective Instruction: The Reading Workshop” agree with. I agree with them as well. I recall these being used in my elementary school classrooms as a child and have seen them used effectively in my field work observations. It not only keeps the students on task and focused on what they are reading, but helps prevent being distracted or becoming a distraction for their peers.
“Although we were pleased that the students were making connections, we were also happy that they built on one another’s responses, demonstrated listening behaviors, and referred back to one another’s comments.”
This is a quote from Lane W. Clarke and Jennifer Holwadel’s article ” Help! What Is Wrong with These Literature Circles and How Can We Fix Them?” I believe that the main focus and goal of literature circles is creating a good foundation for communication. Literature circles are teaching students key skills that they will need all throughout their school and adult lives. Skills such as the authors mentioned, good listening behaviors, being able to build off of each other, and referring back to previously stated comments. These are wonderful tools to have, not only when reading and discussing literature, but in anyone’s successful life.
These were two very informative articles to read, teaching their readers about the importance of keeping the classroom quiet when necessary, discussing when necessary, but always remaining focused on the task at hand and how to complete the task successfully.