Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Link: Teaching Reading: K-2

Becky Pursley's First-Grade Class

Video Summary


Students Making Choices

Video Summary

The Teacher and the Class

Analyzing the Video

Making Connections

Selected Resources

Becky Pursley's first-grade students are confident and willing to take risks, especially in reading and writing workshops. Structured to meet the diverse needs of her students -- who range from emergent readers to those nearing the end of second grade -- workshops allow students to choose their work and to interact with each other. In reading workshops, choices include independent reading or "Readers' Theater," an opportunity to build fluency and intonation while reading to the class. In writing workshops, students read their written work aloud, edit using an editing checklist, then "publish" and share their writing with the whole group. Whether in workshops, shared reading, or one-on-one interactions, Ms. Pursley helps students to problem solve when reading and writing and to verbalize challenges they encounter.

Ms. Pursley's literacy lessons demonstrate the following:

Literacy Teaching Practices


Shared Reading


Guided Reading


Independent Reading


Independent Writing

  • Strategies students can use independently as readers, writers, and learners
  • Specific literacy routines that meet students' diverse needs and promote independence
  • Explicit instruction on mechanics embedded in authentic reading and writing activities
  • An emphasis on reading for meaning
  • A problem-solving approach to a variety of texts
  • Assessment that informs instruction and provides information for measures of accountability

"You have to be brave to do the workshop approach. Because children are doing different things at different times -- sometimes you feel like you're lacking control. But if you step back and do a status check of everyone, and make sure that every child has something to do that's engaging, the workshop will work."
Becky Pursley

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