The Reading Workshop is a lesson structure that enables the full enactment of the Gradual Release of Responsibility (I Do, We Do, You Do) across a 1 hour reading lesson. The focused mini lesson provides students with information about the ways in which a skilled reader, writer or thinker processes the information under discussion. Typically this is done through direct explanations, modelling, or think-alouds in which the teacher demonstrates the kind of thinking required to read and make meaning from a text (Fisher & Frey, 2014). Students then move into the ‘You Do’ part of the lesson where they typically engage in independent reading, an authentic and individualised practice that can support the explicit teaching undertaken during the mini lesson, before reflecting on their learning at the lesson closure.
The Writing Workshop hour centres around the gradual release of responsibility beginning with teacher demonstration of the thoughts and actions that go into creating a text. Students have the opportunity to observe a proficient writer (the teacher) going through the process of putting ideas into a written form. This may be a focus on authorial elements of writing (such as sequencing and linking ideas, choosing appropriate words, etc.) or secretarial elements (employing spelling strategies, using correct punctuation, etc.). Independent writing provides students with the opportunities to employ the various skills and knowledge they have developed throughout the more supported teaching practices of modelled and shared writing as well as those areas which have formed the focus of the mini lessons or writing conferences.
The Mathematics Workshop provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in mathematics and working mathematically. Students have the opportunity to develop increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, communication, reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills through carefully structured and planned lessons. The gradual release structure provides dedicated time for the modelling of strategies using explicit and planned language before guiding students' practice during the acquisition and providing feedback on students' use of strategies.