Powering Up!: Reading Workshop 2.0

Now is the time to understand the rich history of what we have thought books have done for us and what we think digital texts might do differently - Andrew Piper


I have been reading and writing about workshop approaches to literacy instruction for the past 25 years. One might think that I should have run out of things to say about these instructional approaches and classroom frameworks a long time ago. Alas, that is not to be. It seems I have a few more things to say about the changes that have taken place in literacy education, in particular the changes in technology and digital resources that have affected the ways we teach children to read and write and how we organize classrooms to support this endeavor. Like Andrew Piper (2012) suggests in the opening epigraph, I believe it is time to contemplate the rich history of printed books and the ways we teach children to read them. It is also time to consider the role of digital texts and how web-based resources might support the work we do in a Reading Workshop 2.0 environment.
Drawing on my previous work focusing on the reading workshop (Serafini, 2001; Serafini & Youngs, 2006), lessons in comprehension (Serafini, 2004) and reading assessment (Serafini, 2010), this book will provide teachers and literacy educators with an expanded vision for the reading workshop. This vision includes new web-based and digital resources to support accessing and navigating children’s literature and multimodal texts, new technologies for sharing and analyzing complex texts, and new instructional approaches for supporting readers on their journey to becoming more engaged, literate human beings in the 21st Century.

            Into my previous discussions and writing about reading workshop approaches, I am now inserting the concept of Reading Workshop2.0 (Two-Point-Oh). For many teachers, the attachment of 2.0 to the term reading workshop may seem like an unwelcome addition to an already overcrowded curriculum; just one more thing to worry about covering during the upcoming school year. I assure you that is not my intention here. The last thing I want to do is give teachers more components to add on to their reading workshop or one more thing to add into their curriculum. The instructional approaches offered throughout this book are not intended to add any additional burdens to teachers’ workload or suggest new components for the reading workshop. Instead, I see the various web-based and digital resources presented in this book helping teachers do the same important things teachers have been doing in the reading workshop for years, only using new resources and technologies to help children become sophisticated readers in more effective, efficient, and engaging ways.


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