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Reader's Workshop

Compiled By: shazam

Here are some ideas and tips for implementing reader's workshop in your classroom.

Reading Workshop Guidelines
Posted by: JKB

I just made a new poster relating to Reading Workship Guidelines in my classroom. Maybe these will give you some ideas:

Choose books BEFORE Reading Workshop time.
Settle into Reading Workshop quickly and quietly.
Use Reading Workshop time wisely. Read silently, write literature responses, or take Accelerated Reader tests when it is your turn.
Write thoughtful Literature Responses and complete your daily Reading Workshop Log.
Work quietly without disturbing others. Remember Reading Workshop is a QUIET TIME each day.In my room, I have a "Book Nook", which has a comfortable love seat in it. I also have bean bags and cushions. During Reading Workshop, I allow 1/5th of my class use them each day of the week, so that everyone gets a chance once a week to comfortably read around the room. They love it!

I also have three computers in my classroom for students to take AR tests. I have 1/3 of my class registered on each computer. I make a flip chart that sits by the computer, so that the children each get their turn at it. In the event that a child is not ready to take an AR test, they simply "pass" and it goes to the next child. This prevents some kids from monopolizing the computers!

While I don't have the "one day a week, you can read a magazine or comic book....", every once in awhile, I will do a special day, where I will bring in a stack of magazines from our library and allow them to decide if they want to read one. The most popular ones are Zoo Books, since these are on our AR lists. AR is BIG in my building and it seems like they don't want to use their Reading Workshop time on something unless it is AR!

Hope this gives you "food for thought"! Have a great year! JKB :s)

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Readers Workshop
Posted by: Jaime

I teach second grade but also check out the third grade board. Since the first day of school my children have been having Independent Reading time for 20-30 minutes. We set up a rubric that has helped a lot. At the end of each day they record on a calander how they think their day was and I record how I thought their day was.

A huge smiley face is an amazing day. The child read the entire time and stayed in one good spot.

A small smiley face is a wow day. The child read most of the time and stayed in one good spot.

A squiggly face is a so-so day. The child wasted a little precious time and/or moved out of their spot.

A stragiht line face is an oops day. The child wasted precious reading time and/or moved around a lot.

Their is no reward or "punishment" just a plan for what type of day they want to have tomorrow. I find that my kids are pretty honest about what type of day they had. Also things to consider: are you chidren talking or whisper reading? If they are whisper reading are they at the stage that they should be reading in their heads? Can this be a mini lesson? Also do your children have enough just right books so they are able to stay in one spot and sustain during their reading time? Are you children sitting places where they are able to focus and get their reading done? I let my children choose spots in the room to read. There is no warning when they do not choose a good spot, I get to choose a spot for them. Hope this helps! I just finished day 14 of reader's workshop and just finsihed my management lessons of choosing a good spot, choosing just right books, reading in your head, using our rubric, etc..

Hope this helps!

Reader's Workshop
Posted by: dlynneteacher

Reader's Workshop is the big umbrella of your reading program. Reader's Workshop begins with a teacher read aloud to the whole group emphasizing a particular reading skill or reading strategy or reviewing/continued work on one. During this time, I focus on doing a lot of think alouds and anchor charts to teach the reading skill or strategy.
Next I break my whole group into small groups-i.e. the guided reading portion of reading workshop. It is exactly what you have put in your post, you meet with one group at a time, the other groups are at literacy centers. Then we come back together as a whole group to share a few students' examples of their reading with respect to the reading strategy or skill.
You probably already do this. In my class I have the beginning whole group and then I can only fit in 2 reading groups. So if you want to add the whole group reading, you may have to go down to 2 if you don't have more time.
Also, readers workshop includes time for fluency (I use poems mostly for this) and word work.
I hope this helps.

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Reading Workshop
Posted by: Cathy

I use a reading workshop structure with my second grade class in PA. The structure is as follows:
Modeling: I begin each morning by modeling a comprehension strategy with the whole group. Typically, I will state the strategy that I am working on and apply the strategy using a think aloud technique. I want to make my thinking visible at this point in time so the strategies could be viewed by all.

Next, I give each student a book mark with that particular strategy written on it and I instruct the class to apply the strategy while reading. They need to mark the area of the text where the strategy was applied and be prepared to reflect upon their learning at the conclusion of reading workshop. (Students read independently selected material on their independent level)

At this point in time I pull small guided reading groups aside to conduct a comprehension study in a small group. This is based upon two factors; the level of the individuals in the group as well as the strategy that needs improvement.

I also, try to conference with one or two students after the guided session. Usually I will conduct a running record assessment with one or two students during conferencing or I will do a comprehension check.

At the conclusion of Reading Workshop the whole group reconvenes on the rug to discuss the strategy they used and how it was applied during their reading.

Book Recommendations:
The Mosaic of Thought
Snapshots: Using mini lessons to teach reading effectivity
On Solid Ground by Sharon Taberski
Guided reading by Fountas and Pennel

Reading Workshop
Posted by: LR

I do small groups. The students who are working at their desk are to do the following: read quietly, make connections in their Reader's notebooks, and get up ONLY to get a tissue or take an Accelerated Reader Quiz. (They must wait until the end of Reading Workshop to use the restroom). Also, they know that I am not available for questions or help during this time. This has worked well for me. I only had to talk to certain students about being on task/no talking for the first week. After that, they all knew the routine & followed it.

Reading Workshop
Posted by: Heather McKinsey

I use reading workshop in my class. I have them separated into small groups. Eventually the groups will get to pick their own books, but I picked the first for them. We are doing Charlotte's Web. I try to meet with 2 groups a day 3 days a week. In our group, we talk about what was read last time, new vocabulary, or you can do spelling patterns that may be in the story, and then I have them read. When they are done with the assigned reading I give them a writing assignment about what they read. Sometimes it is personal and sometimes it is about the story. This is a time when you can teach the group little mini-lesson, you can teach them how a good reader looks for details, you can work with summary, etc. I keep track of each group with a chart. My students love it. It involves all of them and the groups who need the extra work, you just meet with them more often. Hope this gives you some ideas.

F & P Reader's Workshop
Posted by: Elaine


I started implementing F&P-style reader's workshop last year after reading and discussing the book here on the Teachers As Readers Board. I had great success with the independent reading component simply by following the 20-day plan in the book. (I think that's what they called it. I don't have my book here in front of me right now.) The plan clearly outlines how to get kids started reading independently -- how to choose a just right book, write a lit response letter, how to keep records, etc.

I'd follow that plan if I were you. The goal is to prepare students for working independently so that you can call together guided reading groups, conference with individuals, or meet with lit study groups. It's well worth the time spent "training" them.

I didn't feel I did the guided reading component well at all, so this summer I have worked to develop some integrated units - social studies/reading/writing/speaking -- for guided reading.

For example, the unit I will begin with in social studies is Flight which is a simulation from Interact in which students form flight teams and fly across an imaginary continent while applying map skills. Well it just turns out (luckily for me!) that this is the 100th Year of Flight (Wright Brothers -- Dec. 17, 1903), so I am integrating a genre study on biographies by having students read bios on Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, and the Wright Brothers. All the work we do on these biographies will be done during guided reading. I will meet with 2 groups each day while the remainder of the class is involved in reading independently. I have at least an hour for this part of my communication arts block.

Now, how much time is spent in a guided reading or lit study cycle? I think it will vary depending on what you are reading/doing, etc. I plan to wrap-up the guided reading biography study using no more than 2 weeks, but remember, students will be reading independently during this time as well.

For reading homework, I assigned 20 minutes each night for my 4th graders. This year those students will be my 5th graders, and I am going to require the same 20 minutes but add 10 minutes of journal writing each night.

That's a little about the way I've done things, but I am most interested in hearing what others will tell you. I am always looking for ways to make this thing work better for my students and for me. I am especially interested in hearing about others' reading/writing homework assignments. How do you hold students accountable for this kind of homework?

Here's one last tip. Many of us discussed the F&P book last summer, so maybe you can visit the archives and find some valuable information.

Good luck, and let us know how everything works for you.

Readers Workshop
Posted by: Jaime

I use readers in my classroom starting the first day of school. I start my workshop with a stratagy lesson that often gives the children a job or something to think abotu while reading (write a meaningful text to self connection, mark a page where you have a strong visual image, list words that you have to infer the meaning of). After a mini lesson my children then independently read for 30-45 minutes. During this time they are reading out of their own book basket.

Every Friday they choose "just right" books to fill their basket for the following week. I have good sized classroom library with fiction, nonfiction, and poetry shelves. The fiction and nonfiction are sorted by GRL into buckets. Series are kept together by cardstock dividers. The poetry shelf has song baskets, easy poetry, funny poetry, serious poetry, and some other baskets. The children are able to easily return books to the correct spots on Friday and locate new books. This just involves direct instruction at the start of the year.

Attached to their basket is their reading toolkit (see a post from a few days ago about this). We then end readers workshop with a 5 minute partner talk and a "wrap up" (I do not use the word share). Sometimes everyone says something, sometimes I ask one child to share something from a confernece, and sometimes I share observations. While the children are reading I pull stratagy groups and do individual conferences.

At the start of the year I have the children sit at tables during IR(indpendent reading). I group the children into groups who are of similar reading level. In the middle of the table I put a bucket of books for them to choose from. I include lots of song books (Who stole the cookies, Little Rabbit..)that I sing with them often. During the first week or two I figure our an approximate GRL from the books in the basket they are reading after they have been off that summer. I then stock their personal baskets for them for the few weeks while they learn the rules on IR time. For example, sIt in one good place the whole time (I let my kids sit where ever they want, within reason). We make rubrics about expectations of readers workshop etc...

This is getting really long, so my suggestion is read Debbie Miller (Reading With Meaning) and Lucy Calkins (The art of teaching reading). They are my bible for reading instruction! They go into lots of details about the things I am talking about.

Good luck! My kids love their reading time and beg for more everyday! Let me know if there are more specific questions you have. Hope this helps, a little!

reader's workshop
Posted by: Mary

is a great way to differentiate for the needs of your students. Kids self-select a book (you may want to specify genre) and basically, they come to class and read. You should conference with each student about twice a week (noting, in writing, how many pages they've read since the last conference--this keeps them accountable). A conference should only take a couple of minutes, basically just touching base about the book. I have my kids in RW write me a number of letters. We're starting up again on Monday, as a matter of fact, and they will be required, over the course of the next three weeks, to write me three letters (one a week). One must address characterization, one must address literary elements, such as foreshadowing and symbolism/metaphor and one must address the theme or themes. In this way, they're looking at the same stuff I would direct them to look at, but they're doing it on their own.

You obviously will not have read all of the books that are chosen, and it's not at all necessary, either. Just ask the intelligent questions you always ask. You'll be able to tell who's on it and who's not.

For RW to be at all effective, KIDS MUST BE READING AT THEIR INSTRUCTIONAL LEVEL. No third grade readers in Lord of the Rings, and no tenth grade readers in Ramona Quimby. You will need to monitor and approve the books they choose, to make sure of this extremely, extremely important requirement. may be helpful to you in this, but I find I'm a lot more accurate than the lexile folks, and I can tell in seconds whether a book is a good level for a kid or not. So just use your head.

Some kids have trouble finding a book. I just tell them, fine, but we're done in three weeks, and if you've messed around for two of those weeks trying to find a book, guess whose grade is in trouble? Same deal with the kid who gets halfway through and doesn't want to finish. Figure it out. We're done in three weeks.

I teach lang. arts in a middle school, so I have about 100 kids. I do not do RW with all 100 kids, but I have known teachers who do it. I do lit circles with most of my kids, with only the highest and the lowest in RW. Do whatever works for you.

It sounds hard, but it's not, and you can tell your principal that you differentiate like crazy!

Reading Workshop
Posted by: MrsT

If done correctly, the mini lesson segment of reading workshop addresses "skills" but in the context of real literature which is more meaningful to students. The challenge is to encourage students to apply these skills in their independent reading. This can only happen if students are really reading "just right" books that aren't too challenging so that the student can practice these new skills yet allow growth.

Most reading workshops also include guided reading where the teacher can address specific needs using focus lessons and common texts.

reader's workshop
Posted by: Ashley Baumgarten

I am currently using reader's workshop in my classroom and have found great success from this style of teaching. It allows the teacher to conference (teach) with individual students while they do independent reading, after the mini-lesson. Guided reading is still a major component of Readers workshop so after my students complete 20 minutes of independent reading they do a partner share, then reading/literacy centers or guided reading. Since the studnets are reading for so much of the 90 minute block, they typically only get to one center. Two great books for understanding or learing about the effectiveness of Reader's Worshop is Reading With Meaning by Debbie Miller and the Art of Teaching Reading by Lucy Calkins.
I also have been through extensive traning in Writer's Workshop so I have a pretty concrete understing of Workshop style teaching and basically run my entire day this way.

Readers Workshop
Posted by: pmpkin

My reader's workshop lasts about 75 minutes.
I usually spend 10-20 minutes on mini-lesson
the class reads independently while I pull guided reading groups-as much as I try, I can only seem to get two groups in each day (20 min. per group) *with my low group-I spend some time with vocabulary/decoding/word work but with all of the others we work on employing all strategies needed before, during, after reading. For the most part, students read silently to a certain stopping point then record thoughts or discuss.
I always spend at least 10 minutes as a group share-I get so much information about their ind. reading during this discussion time

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Posted by: Shelly

Hi, I teach first grade and I teach by workshop.. Readers Workshop and Writers Workshop. I think that is the only way to go! I used to teach with centers, but I felt I was doing so much busy work trying to get things ready everyday and also I felt I didn't know how the kids were really doing...
So last year I switched to workshops. Are you familiar? They are broken into 3 slots
1. focus lesson
2. gove it a go
3. share
I don't teach with Basals but books that I have in my library or borrow from our first grade book room. So for the first few months the kids will just be exploring schema and then I will integrate their writing. I hope I'm not confusiong you.... Please let me know if you like what I'm doing and I can go into more depth.
Some good resources are for reading workshopebbie Miller
Writing workshop:Katie Wood Ray

Good Luck!

Grades for Reader's Workshop
Posted by: 5thGrdTeachTN

My district requires the use of Open Court Reading, but during the independent work time that is prescribed through OCR my school implements RW. Our reading grade is a 50/50 compilation of the grades in both areas. My RW grades are comprised of the following:

*Nightly Reading Responses (2 points each if expectations were met, 3 points if they were exceeded and 1 point if the response did not meet expectations)
*Book Projects (25-50 points each graded by a rubric)
*Classwork-may be a response, chart, graphic organizer, etc. (5-10
points each)
*Literature Circle Packet/test (usually only in the 3rd and/or 4h marking
period 50-100 points)

Between these things I usually have about 200-300 points to work with and added to the other reading grade works pretty well.

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reading without books
Posted by: Sandy

You could also do a Reading workshop. Check out various levels of books from your school library. Then let each child read a book of choice sitting anywhere in the room for say 15 minutes. I would start out with a whole group mini could be on sequencing, cause and effect whatever skill you want to work on. Then let them break up and read silently. During this time I meet with each group (a different one every day). We share about the books we are reading (author, title, and something that has happened so far. Then the others in the group are given about two minutes to ask questions and then it is the next person's turn. Then call the students back together for a whole class activity. On Monday's we would do Making Big Words, on Tuesday's we wrote to our journal buddies about what was happening in the book we were reading. On Wednesday, they responded to their journal buddies, on Thursday we did some type of writing about our book. Either illustrating something that had happened and writing about it or writing a friendly letter to one of the characters etc. Then on Friday we had some type of artsy type project to do for their book. When each child finished their book, they were required to do some type of book report on it. I had several forms out that they could choose from. They completed the book report and then started another book. On Fridays we also let students who had completed their book report or project share it with the class if they wanted to. I also made my students get a "c" or better on their report or project. If they didn't, they had to keep redoing it until they did. You can also require that so many books be read per quarter, month etc. Maybe the first two have to be regular type book reports but the third one could be a story quilt, or diorama or mobile or something like that.

Reading and Writing Workshop
Posted by: Maria

I just started using reading and writing workshop this year. One of the most important things before implementing this program is ORGANIZATION! All my books are leveled and each student has a small bag that holds 3 to 4 books. They "shop" for new books each week on a rotating schedule. I began the workshop with a mini-lesson about specific reading strategies then students go to their reading spots around the room. During this 45 minute blocks students read independently, read with a partner, have books talks with a partner, or write a reading reponse. While this is happening I have guided reading groups or conferences with individual students. It is important that