While the advantages of reading workshops are well known (Atwell, 1998), there is currently a debate among scholars, practitioners, and politicians about the use of instructional/independent level texts in light of the Common Core Standards’ end-of-year requirement for students to be reading at grade level (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010). Particularly in middle school, where motivation to read often declines, a workshop approach can help students develop and strengthen their interest in reading. A classroom survey completed by middle school students in a suburban school district in the Midwestern United States illustrates students’ positive response to a reading workshop approach (Atwell). However, students must also be able to read grade-level text proficiently. Using a combination of workshop and instruction with grade-level texts will help support students in reaching the end-of-year standards required by the Common Core.
Stevens, N. L. (2016). Choice and Rigor: Achieving a Balance in Middle School Reading/Language Arts Classrooms in the Era of the Common Core. Reading Horizons, 55 (2). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol55/iss2/5