I’ve been referencing and linking to Laura Candler’s awesome website since I was a new teacher. She and I have like-minded approaches to education and similar writing “voices.” So when she sent me a copy of her latest book Laura Candler’s Power Reading Workshop: A Step-By-Step Guide, I was thrilled to check it out!
Laura taught for 29 years in grades 4-6, so I consider her an expert on all things upper elementary. Many Reading Workshop books (like my beloved The Daily Five) are geared more toward the primary grades; Power Reading Workshop is for grades 2-6. That’s the first thing that sets this book apart. What does Reading Workshop look like when children are transitioning from learning to read to reading to learn? Laura Candler shares a clear vision that’s easy to understand and simple to replicate.
Another notable aspect of the Power Reading Workshop book is its organization. Laura outlines how to prepare and set up for Reading Workshop, and then provides the lessons (and related forms/activity pages) for each of the first ten days.
The final section of the book and the appendix provide the best part: Power Reading Tools and additional resources which you can photocopy and use right away in your classroom. These include graphic organizers, personal goal setting and self-assessment tools, reading logs, and resources for flexible reading groups. Like the forms available on Laura’s website, these are flawlessly designed and both teacher- and student-friendly. And just as importantly, they are mainly open-ended and foster higher-level thinking skills; you won’t find boring worksheets in this book.
What I love most about Power Reading Workshop is Laura’s emphasis on getting kids to fall in love with reading. She repeatedly addresses the issue of reluctant learners and how to connect them with books and reading practices that are inspiring to them. Laura knows that teachers are facing high levels of accountability and lots of test pressure, but she’s found a way to provide authentic reading instruction and practice for her students, anyway.
Regardless of which subjects/grade levels you teach, be sure to check out Laura’s (Online) File Cabinet, which are free printables and lessons that she created for her classroom and now shares with others. There are some fantastic resources there which I’ve used with my own students and now recommend to the teachers I coach.
WIN A FREE AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THIS BOOK! Laura has generously offered to sign and send a copy of Power Reading Workshop to a Cornerstone visitor. Just leave a comment on this blog post (or on Facebook) answering the question “What is your favorite book to share with students?” I’ll use a random number generator to select the winning comment on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
OK, we had 85 total entries between Facebook and the blog! I copied and pasted them into a document (taking out duplicate comments by the same person and side comments that weren’t technically favorite-book-entries.) I listed the Facebook entries first followed by blog entries. The winner is number 35, which is Amanda Smith, who mentioned “The Interrupting Chicken!” Thanks to ALL of you for sharing your favorite books–I’ve got lots of new titles to explore!
There are more give-aways scheduled for the next couple of months, so stay tuned! If you’d like to purchase Laura Candler’s Power Reading Workshop, she’s got some great options here.