“Children, just like adults, learn better in a supportive environment in which they can risk trying out new strategies and concepts and stretching themselves intellectually.”
– Peter Johnston. Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children’s Learning.
A Workshop Community
The learning process should be purposeful, personal, meaningful, authentic, collaborative, reflective and joyful. How do you create a classroom environment that encompasses all these elements and meet the diverse needs of students? The answer: A reading and writing workshop.
A workshop approach fosters a learning community. Every learner in a workshop becomes a community member who embraces these characteristics. It gives children the opportunity to see that a teacher is a reader and a writer who facilitates learning. This learning community will empower voice and choice as readers and writers make purposeful decisions around the work they will do each day. In Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency: Thinking, Talking, and Writing about Reading, K-8, Fountas and Pinnell discuss some characteristics of members within a learning community.