BettyAnn LaPenna » Nuts and Bolts of Workshops

Nuts and Bolts of Workshops

Reading and Writing Workshop

Workshops are deliberately designed to offer a simple and predictable environment so that the teacher can focus on the complex work of observing students' progress and teaching into their needs.

  • Each session begins with a mini-lesson. Kids sit with a long-term partner while in the mini-lesson.
  • The mini-lesson ends with the kids being sent off to their own independent work.
  • As students work, the teacher confers with them and leads small groups.
  • Partway through independent work time, the teacher stands and delivers a mid-workshop teaching point.
  • The workshop ends with a share.
Phonics Workshop
To create these new phonics units, Lucy and her coauthors have drawn on all that they know from decades of teaching reading and writing in thousands of classrooms across the world, and they've relied on proven, research-based practices.  These units:
  • provide a lean and concise instructional pathway in phonics that is realistic and doable, and that taps into kids’ skills and energy for tackling the fabulous challenge of learning to read and write,
  • introduce high-leverage phonics concepts and strategies in a way that keeps pace with students' reading and writing and helps them understand when, how, and why they can use phonics to read and write,
  • offer delightfully fun and engaging story lines, classroom mascots, songs, chants, rhymes, and games to help students fall head over heels in love with phonics and to create a joyous community of learners,
  • align with state-of-the-art reading and writing workshops for a coherent approach in which terminology, tools, rituals, and methods are shared in ways that benefit both teachers and kids.
Math Work
I start with a focus lesson, then allow students to practice with learning stations and guided math groups and conclude with a reflection. 
  • A focus lesson: Whole-group instruction to introduce a new topic
  • Guided math group: A small group of students working with the teacher to address specific needs
  • Learning stations: Activities that students work on independently or collaboratively to practice new topics or review past topics, often taking place while the teacher is working with a guided math group