Saturday, October 5

Reading Workshop...where we're at...for now!

We have been working our little hearts out to get where we're at in Reading Workshop....which we do Teachers' College (Calkins) Style...

20 minutes of stamina in Private Reading

5-8 minutes of stamina in Partner Reading


Here's a little random tour to explain a bit of how we got there...I'm formatting it for 5 for Friday so I can link up with Kacey...a day late. :)

1. Mini-Lesson Targets going on the Target Board. The current target goes right under the bunting...former targets go to the left. You'll notice that I have two targets under the bunting...I keep emphasizing to the class that the bottom one is the MOST important! That we can really NEVER let that one go no matter what we're reading.
Each target generally lasts for more than one mini-lesson...and sometimes gets built upon. For example, "I can reread to..." target on the left was built over 3 days...with Study & Think (about the pix & words) being two days and the fluency/stamina part being added on the third day.

In random pockets of time during the day, we sometimes review and discuss one of the targets...talking about what it looks like & sounds like.

You can snag the TARGET bunting freebie {HERE}...there are three black/white patterns so just print the pages you'd like to use...

2. Private Reading - Student's table spots are next to their Reading Partner and partners are similar reading levels. Their rug spots for Reading & Writing Workshop lessons are also next to their reading partners.
During Private Reading they set their chairs up backwards from one another, take out their reading log and grab their book box. When we began Private Reading in early September, we had 5 mn of stamina...and built to 10 verrrrry slowly. Once they hit 10, they then hit 12, then 13 and 15 fairly rapidly...within a week. This week we hit 20 and they're so excited with themselves.

And...I'm thrilled because I can actually get some grouping/conferring in!

3. Here is my super simple form for my weekly lesson can snag it via google docs and edit it in Powerpoint. The font is A Year Without Rain by Kim Geswein, so you'll need to download it if you want it to look exactly like the pic below. Kim's fonts are free for personal use, $5 for commercial use (if you're using it to create something to sell).

I run these a few weeks at a time with groupings page on the back side of the plans side.

In the Group Row, I put the group name and the book title I'll be using that day.

The reason the groups are color groups is for simplicity...I have a red folder for the red group to store books and such in...same with each of the other groups.

You probably noticed that I only meet with two groups a day. This is a HUUGGGGE change for me...our district moved to Teachers College Reading Workshop this year and this has truly been the hugest change. I'm still a little bit freaked out about only getting to two groups. our former model of workshop, kids were doing centers (which we can't do anymore) while I met with 4 groups each day and we were unable to get to individual conferences.

I have five groups and meet or confer with my strugglers every day.

As I collect more info on my readers and as they progress past level I/J (Fountas Pinnell)/ 16+ (Reading Recovery) we will move more to strategy groups, which will be more focused on a specific strategy and the kids will bring a book from their book box for the opposed to Guided Reading, where the books are selected for the group's instructional level.

4. Book Boxes

Currently in book boxes are:
"shopping" books (8-10 books at their independent level from the leveled library)
Look Books (2-3 unleveled books from the topic-character-author sorted library)
Reading Notebook
Poetry Notebook (contains shared reading & other poems, songs, chants)

If you'd like the FREEBIE Reading Strategy posters (and bookmarks), you can snag them by clicking the pic below...

5. We've been spending about 8 minutes on Partner Reading each day, too. Here's a not super fancy anchor chart...

And here's a freebie sort for what Partners can and cannot do during Partner either pic to download from google docs. :) up with Kacey, too!

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!


  1. I really enjoyed reading about your setup. I really feel like I need to make some changes, but not having any training in that method, I'm not sure how successful I would be. It might be something to shoot for next year. Thanks for sharing.
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  2. Loved reading this, Lisa! Great idea to sit back to back! I have moved from 4 groups a day to 2 groups and am freaking out a little, too! Such a change! Can't wait to see the outcome!

  3. What are your kids doing while you're pulling groups? We use Daily 5/CAFE at my school, and we can't pull kids for groups when they're doing their independent reading. Although I pulled my lowest kids last year (one group reading at a E/F and the other at a G/H) during read to self because I knew they wouldn't be getting much from read to self anyway.

    Angela :)
    Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

    1. Hi Friend!
      The kids are doing their independent & buddy reading...I don't like taking them during that time, but during our Homegrown Institute from Teachers College, it was brought up that the strugglers don't have the full amount of stamina and if you take them first you are setting them up for success for the rest of the private reading time with books that are fresh. The on-target and stronger readers generally have the stamina, but since they aren't met with every day it doesn't intrude on their independent reading every day...I'm still a bit unsure of how I feel about this new workshop method, but am grateful that every other teacher is in the same boat as me...I know my student progress was great with our former methods and am really hoping for the same or better with this route...time will tell!

  4. I love the idea of having students sit back to back as they practice independent reading! Sitting close to each other is so distracting for some little nuggets!

    What cursive font did you use to label your pictures? The one that says book box storage and target board? I love it! Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachel!
      I am OBSESSED with fonts from Jen Jones Hello Literacy (LOVE her commercial use pack as it is loaded with kid friendly and playful fonts...much more than the 24 freebies she has, though I love those, too!) and Kimberly Geswein! Both of those fonts are from Kim Geswein...The Target Board Font is: Hard Candy Solid & The Book Box Storage Font is:KG Eyes Wide Open. You can find both of these amazing ladies on Teachers Pay Teachers....Thanks so much for stopping!

  5. Hello! Thanks so much for sharing this! What is the biggest difference from what you did last year? Also, what former methods did you do that you felt had the most success for your kids' progression?
    I am a reading specialist and some of our teachers are using a reader's workshop approach while others are resistant to it, so I am just trying to get a feel for where we need to go from here.
    Thanks again for your ideas!


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