Monday, November 24, 2008

Why Student Success in Reading Workshop is So Important

Students that have characteristics that help them succeed in Reading Workshop, will most likely achieve throughout their life. The more relaxed and student-driven workshop environment forces students to make choices. This decision making can serve as a learning model that will have life-long affects. Knowing this places a significant responsibility on teachers, if we choose to run our class in the workshop style.

If a student works hard in reading and writing workshop, they will have a work ethic that will most likely lead to success in other places. Conversely, if student needs constant supervision and prodding to work, they will most likely struggle in other classes, and later in life. Similarly, the attitude they approach tasks at hand, can provide the impetus for overall academic success.

Last week after the Awards Assembly, I heard a boy say, "I haven't got an award for the last 3 years. It's been since 2nd grade."

I thought to myself, "what a terrible thing. This boy has been to at least 9 awards assemblies in a row, and hasn't been recognized."

So I asked him:
Me: What did you do in 2nd grade to get an award?
Student: I don't know.
Me: You must have done something.
Student: It was at my old school.
Me: So what did you do at your old school to get an award?
Student: I don't know.
Me: You must have done something right.
Student: Yeah
Me: Do you work hard in class?
Student: Wellllllllll

I wondered:
1. Do his parents ever talk to him about success? Or lack of?
2. Will he think about our conversation and decide how he succeeded before?
3. Will it have any affect on his work ethic?
4. Next year, when he is in my class, will he get an award?
5. When I see him in 8 - 10 years, will he have found the means for success?

Hopefully next year he will learn the work part of reading workshop.


Anonymous said...

The reason he got awards is because he had to have done something in class like pay atention or turn in all his work. Doing good in school determines if you will be successful in life if he wants to mess around in class let him it will only mess up his future. I believe if he works hard the rest of the year and the years to come he will be a totally different person. I hope he gets encouragement from his parents because that will help him alot.

Anonymous said...

I worry that this child doesn't know the reason for getting an award in the second grade. It's possible that he just doesn't remember, but if he doesn't know why he was awarded then, he may have a hard time with reaching that goal again. It is nice to be recognized for good grades and accomplishments, but it is equally important that those who are falling behind are helped. If this student is just wanting to get a laminated piece of paper presented to him in front of his classmates, then he's in it for the wrong reasons. Children really need to be guided...(dragged)into the concept of having a good work ethic and I think this is directly related to a parents example.

Mr. McGuire said...

if he doesn't know why he was awarded then, he may have a hard time with reaching that goal again

This is a good point. Hopefully he will start to think about what leads to success!

Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

I think that it is interesting that he has focused on the award and has not noticed that the awards are being given for specific behavior.

Perhaps a discussion with him over what awards he has heard about/noticed that he wants to receive and helping him think through how he would achieve that goal would be helpful.

I think too often we want something, but we don't know how to achieve it. Helping him think that through would help him to succeed. And teaching him to think it through would help after class too.