Out of all the components of Reading Workshop, Share Time often gets the least attention.
It is after all only 5 – 10 minutes long. To be truthful, on the surface level, it doesn’t hold the same importance as a mini-lesson, independent reading time, or a reading conference.
Having said that, this bite-sized piece of the Reading Workshop model is important in its own way.
Think of it like the dessert after a good meal, and who doesn’t like dessert?
What is Share Time?
Share Time comes at the end of Reading Workshop and it’s main purpose is to encourage students to reflect on the reading work that occurred that day.
This is the time for students to gather back in the Reading Workshop meeting area, carrying pencils and Reader’s Notebooks with them.
Share Time doesn’t look the same in every classroom, and each classroom may have its own way of operating Share Time.
What are some activity options for organizing Share Time?
1. Students share their experiences as readers and thinkers from that day.
To allow for the most participation, I like to have students turn and talk with their reading partners.
One of the things we work on are speaking and listening skills, and this is a great time to practice those skills.
When we launch Reading Workshop, in fact, learning to do accountable talk is something I introduce or review. This concept works well for reading discussions.
2. Reinforce the Mini-Lesson of the day in some way.
This is generally led by the teacher, but it’s even more meaningful when students add their own input.
Here are a few ways to reinforce the Mini-Lesson:
- Add-on – This is when you notice something or think of something extra to supplement the Mini-Lesson. Students can also add to the mini-lesson. For example, they can add sticky notes to an interactive anchor chart that relates to the reading concept of that day.
- Reader of the Day – This is when you share a great example of the Mini-Lesson skill or strategy you noticed a reader doing during a Mini-Lesson. ***Please do ASK the student you’ll be praising for permission to share about him/her beforehand. Some enjoy the recognition while it’s the last thing other students want.
- Preview of Tomorrow’s Mini-Lesson – This is when you notice good reading work during a Mini-Lesson that perfectly illustrates the Mini-Lesson for the next day.***Again, you’ll want to make sure to ask the student for permission to share.
3. Problem Solving for Share Time
This is my least favorite way to end Reading Workshop, but sometimes it’s necessary.
If there is a fairly major issue (excess talking if students are reading alone, loud talking if students are working with reading partners, wandering instead of reading…) you may need to briefly go over behavior expectations.
For example, I like to ask students what they are noticing, why it’s a problem, and what can be done to make Reading Workshop better.
Since time may be short, any ongoing issues can be addressed as a Mini-Lesson topic or at a Class Meeting.
Finally, smaller issues that involve one or two student and not the whole class can be dealt with on an individual basis.
4. Book Talks in Share Time
Book Talks are one of my favorite things to do during Share Time. These are basically mini-advertisements to try to generate interest in reading a particular book.
One Mini-Lesson topic you’ll definitely want to teach students is how to give a Book Talk.
I like to use anchor charts that explain what a Book Talk is (pictured above), Dos and Don’ts for Book Talks, and the three main parts of a Book Talk (the hook, the content, and the ending).
It’s also a good idea to model Book Talks so students can see several variations of a Book Talk in action.
That’s it! Now you know how to plan and implement successful Share Times during Reading Workshop!
Do remember teaching Reading Workshop (including leading Share Times) is always a work in progress.
It will take some time, patience, and practice to fine tune each of its components.
The more you practice the Reading Workshop model with your students, the more confident and skilled you’ll become!
You can create everything you need to launch Reading Workshop, but if you’re looking for a set of time-saving, print and digital resources, I have a set ready for you. It has anchor charts, graphic organizers, reader’s notebook materials, 4 weeks of lesson plans, bookmarks, posters, and more!
Now that you have a handle on the main components of Reading Workshop, maybe you’re wondering where you go from here?
If you’d like to plan out the grade level reading skills your students need for the year, I have a FREE set of pacing guides for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades that I’d love to share with you.
The pacing guides are organized by weeks and come in color, black and white, and in editable formats too, so you can tweak them to match your needs.
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