readers workshop · writers workshop

Share Time: More Than Just Author’s Chair

Authors Chair

Share time is one of the most important parts of the workshop model. It’s our opportunity to close our lesson and build our community of readers and writers. In writer’s workshop, I’ve used it as a time in which writers come together and share their work. I picked a few students each day, usually those that where using the strategy that I taught that day. In readers workshop, I used share time to reinforce the learning for the day and draw students’ attention back to the learning target. I also used it as a time for students to share their reading responses. My current method of share time is building a community of readers and writers, however I don’t think that I’ve been maximizing it’s potential. I’m ready to learn more!

This year, my school district implemented Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study in writing. As I went through the lessons, I realized that Lucy Calkins utilizes the share time in a way that maximizes the learning. I’ve learned that share time can almost be like a smaller mini-lesson that capitalizes on what was taught and prepares students for further work. I want to apply this to reader’s workshop as well.

In Growing Readers, Kathy Collins describes four different ways we can use share time.

  1. Share time as a mini-lesson reinforcement: This is the most familiar to me. In this method, I would draw students attention back to our learning target and reinforce what was taught during the mini-lesson. I might demonstrate what I noticed during independent work time. Then, I would use purposeful talk to allow students time to discuss their learning with others. I might give my kindergartens a sentence stem and have them turn and talk.
  2. Share time as a mini-lesson preview:  This method would be useful if you taught a student something in a conference that you were planning on teaching the following day. If we were working on an anchor chart titled “Things that Strong Readers Do”, I might add it to the chart and share with the class what the student and I worked on in our conference.  Then, I would tell the students that we would learn more about the strategy tomorrow.
  3. Share time as a mini-lesson add-on: Collins describes this as a time when we might notice a student do something that supplements what was taught in the mini-lesson or takes the learning to a new level.
  4. Share time as a problem-solving opportunity: This is used in the event that independent reading workshop didn’t go as planned or if routines weren’t followed. It is a chance to review routines and procedures to remind students of the expectations.

As I’ve researched and learned more about share time , I’ve come to a few conclusions.

  1. Share time can be used as a time where readers and writers share their learning. This is the more traditional approach but there is power in it when used in conjunction with other methods of share.
  2. Share time can be used a condensed mini-lesson to prepare students for further work.
  3. Sometimes share time can be planned. An example might be when the teacher plans to use the learning that occurred during independent work time to create an anchor chart. Another example might be when the teacher introduces a sentence stem for students to use while they are discussing a particular topic.
  4. Sometimes a share time is not preplanned. It might take shape as the teacher is conferring with readers and writers that day.
  5. The teacher can also prepare students for share time during the mid-workshop teaching. For example, I might ask students to jot down something that they learned, a strategy that they used, a sentence they wrote, or questions that they have on a post-it note. The students can put their post-it on a “parking lot”. We can use the sticky notes in our share time to asses our learning.

Since share time might not always be planned prior to the delivery of the lesson , I want to keep record of what I taught or what we discussed. This way, I can reference it while planning or in the mini-lesson the next day. I created a Share Time Recording sheet. Here is a sneak peak:

Share Time Form

Click the picture to check it out on TPT!

One of my goals this year is to maximize share time in readers workshop and writers workshop. In honor of sharing, share your ideas about share time in the comments! Let’s learn and grow together!


“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.” – Psalm 139:17-18 NASB

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