The framework for a Comprehensive Literacy Model (CLM) classroom is a workshop approach. A balance of whole group, small group, and individual conferences, within an integrated, inquiry-based classroom, are designed for meeting the needs of all students. Students are encouraged to develop positive, constructive habits of thinking and, in doing so, refine their strategies, deepen their comprehension, and expand their knowledge. The ultimate goal of a workshop approach is to enable learners to acquire strategies for self-regulating their learning. All of the workshops include five components:
- Small-group instruction
- Independent practice or working with peers
- One-to-one or small-group conferences
- Share time
The language study is the heart of the CLM classroom. Using mentor texts, the teacher uses a whole-group interactive read aloud to develop students' listening and speaking comprehension with explicit demonstrations in how language works including text structure, story grammar, language functions, and vocabulary development. Language Study is scheduled for 30 minutes.
In the reading workshop, instruction focuses on the reading process. In small Guided Reading groups, emergent readers have the opportunity to develop foundational skills, apply strategies, and develop fluency while reading for meaning on texts that gradually increase in difficulty. More mature readers use their knowledge of language features, text structures, authors craft, and vocabulary to understand ideas and themes within and across complex texts. They engage in teacher-mediated Literature Discussion Groups. Reading Workshop is scheduled for 90 minutes.
The goal of the writing workshop is to develop a well-orchestrated process that depends on the interrelatedness of three aspects of writing: comprehension of ideas, expressive language, and facility with mechanics. Emergent writers learn to use simple resources to assist in transcribing their message. As students acquire more skill with print, they attend to the composing process, eventually focusing their attention more actively on the craft of writing. Writing Workshop is scheduled for 45 minutes.
Students engage in experiential-based learning activities that foster curiosity in the Content Workshop and prepare them for research projects. Students use literacy resources to research, organize, and share their learning. Content Workshop is scheduled for 45-60 minutes.