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Reading Workshop--Managing the reading classroom

One format that teachers utilize to teach reading is called Reading Workshop or Reader’s Workshop. Often a 60-minute block is set aside (although this can be adapted to be shorter or longer) and broken into the following time slots:

15-20 minutes: Whole-class mini-lesson

30-40 minutes: Small-group and individual work Any combination of the following:

  • Independent reading

  • Paired reading

  • Conferring with students

  • Guided reading lessons

  • Literature response

  • Book club

  • Literacy Centers

  • Seatwork

5-10 minutes: Group share

Questions to think about:

  • What are the advantages to using this format? The disadvantages?

  • If you are using a basal, could this format be modified to meet your needs or could the basal lessons and activities fit into this format?

  • What element(s) would you be willing to try right away? How could you work that into your daily schedule?

  • Could you try this format for a genre or theme study? What might that look like?

Books to help you learn even more about reading workshop:

Fountas, I.C., & Pinnell, G.S. (2001). Guiding readers and writers grades 3-6: Teaching comprehension, genre, and content literacy. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hansen, J. (2001). When writers read (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hindley, J. (1996). In the company of children. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Miller, D. (2002). Reading with meaning: Teaching comprehension in the primary grades. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Serafini, F. (2001). The reading workshop: Creating space for readers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Taberski, S. (2000). On solid ground: Strategies for teaching reading K-3. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Key Words: management, reading, mini-lessons, independent work