8/5/11 ** An excellent introduction to a process by which teachers can help their children learn routines for independent reading and writing. The authors describe five literacy tasks which students should engage in daily: Reading to Self, Reading to Others, Listening to Reading, Work on Writing, and Word Work.
Explicit teaching, anchor charts, correct & incorrect modeling, and self-reflection are all part of helping students increase their levels of independence. The more independent students are during readers'/writers' workshop, the more the teacher is freed to actually teach small groups of children. Likewise, the more powerful students' learning, because they're actively engaged in meaningful literacy work, rather than busy work (and papers that need to be graded!)
This short text, just 7 chapters & 126 pages, is readable and the authors are pragmatic. They continue to teach, even while serving as literacy consultants.
The main downside is that most of the examples are drawn from primary classrooms. While the authors do offer some suggestions for adapting the Daily Five procedures for use in intermediate and middle school classrooms, much of that work is left up to the reader.