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Ridley School District employs the reading and writing workshop model of instruction in language arts. This model is based on the work and research of Teachers College, Columbia University under the direction of Lucy Calkins, the extensive research of Dr. Richard Allington in the area of reading, and the work of the Pennsylvania Writing and Literacy Project. Reading workshop incorporates the five National Reading Panel research based elements of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. The Ridley School District Reading and Writing Workshop Units of Study for grades kindergarten through eighth address the Pennsylvania Academic Standards of Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.


This balanced literacy approach in reading is designed around the following major components:

  • Read Aloud: The teacher reads aloud to the children from a carefully selected body of literature. Students interact through a variety of strategies such as turn and talk, stop and jot, sketch to stretch, and symphony of talk.
  • Shared Reading: The teacher and children read in unison, usually from an enlarged text. Text is written on the instructional level for most students.
  • Guided Reading: The teacher guides a small group of readers who are on the same instructional level, to talk, think, and question their way through a book.
  • Minilesson: The minilesson is the direct teaching component of reading workshop. Each daily minilesson begins with a connection to a previous lesson. Modeling is employed to teach process strategies that enable students to read with greater accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. Students are given opportunities to practice what has been taught in the minilesson with teacher support.
  • Independent Reading: Children read self-selected reading material at their independent reading level and practice the minilesson topics taught. Teachers conference with students and provide individual instruction according to the reading needs of each student.
  • Sharing: Students talk to one another to share what they have been working on in their own reading in order to process their thoughts and gain insight from each other.
Writing Workshop incorporates the following major components:

  • Minilesson: The minilesson is the direct teaching component of writing workshop. Each daily minilesson begins with a connection to a previous lesson. Modeling is employed to teach process strategies that enable students to write with greater focus, content, style, organization and correct conventions. Mentor texts are used to provide professional models of writing. Students are given opportunities to practice what has been taught in the minilesson with teacher support.
  • Independent Writing: Children write pieces on self-selected topics and practice the minilesson topics taught. Students work on the various stages of the writing process including drafting, revising, and editing. Teachers conference with students and provide individual instruction according to the needs of each student.
  • Sharing: Students talk to one another to share what they have been working on in their own writing in order to process their thoughts and gain insight from each other.

The reading and writing workshop curriculum incorporates the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Standards.

Pennsylvania Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening


The reading workshop and writing workshop are designed around a year long calendar of units of study. The following files provide the K-5 year long calendar and scope and sequence.


K-5 Year Long Units of Study Calendar


K-5 Reading Workshop Scope and Sequence

Please see the Grades 6, 7, & 8 page for the specific information for Middle School.

Last Modified on February 23, 2009