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Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System

K-3 teachers use a running record, miscue analysis, fluency rubric, and comprehension conversation to assess students' use of cueing systems, fluency, and comprehension within fiction and nonfiction texts.  Our 4-5 teachers use a similar running record from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.  The website is HERE. 


Readers' and Writers' Workshop

The workshop strategies that teachers practice through the District’s Reading and Writing Project are constantly evolving. Today the 21st Century Learning Skills of curiosity, creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration serve as the foundation for the work we do to support students and their learning. The definition of literacy in is a broad one including visual, digital, technical and environmental strands that prepare students to thrive as global citizens.


MSD teachers use the workshop structure to deliver instruction in reading (TK-5th grade) and writing (TK-8th grade). This model is based on the belief that children learn best when given authentic opportunities to learn. Reading Workshop includes opportunities for read aloudshared readingguided reading and independent reading. Writing Workshop includes opportunities for shared readinginteractive writingguided writing and independent writing.


Workshop Framework


The lesson begins with the teacher providing direct and explicit instruction to the whole class. Following a gradual release model, the teacher first demonstrates a strategy or thinks aloud for a specific purpose. Students are given an opportunity to rehearse while the teacher carefully watches and provides guidance and feedback as needed.


Independent Work Students are then released to apply what they learned in small groups, pairs, or independently. The teacher checks in to ensure all students are engaged with the task before moving on to either confer with individual students to assess, support, and scaffold their learning, or work with a small group to provide direct instruction.



Students are given opportunities to consolidate and reflect on their learning. For example, the class might examine the work of a few students which reinforce the objective of the mini-lesson, or explore collectively how the day’s teaching will help them become stronger readers or writers.


On-going implementation support, coaching, and future staff development offerings are offered throughout the year.  The District is grateful to the Moraga Education Foundation for supporting the Readers' and Writers' workshop staff development training.


Quick Links

Research Base Underlying the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop’s Approach to Literacy Instruction