Reader’s Workshop

What is a reader’s workshop? Reader’s workshop is an approach to reading instruction that includes both guided and independent reading experiences in a workshop format. What does a reader’s workshop look like?  Reader’s workshop follows a predictable format and includes tons of READING!!!!

We begin each workshop with a mini-lesson. This is my opportunity to teach reading strategies and model my thinking to the class. Last week we read a Discovery magazine article on the Titanic and learned how to link text clues with our background knowledge to infer the meaning of unknown words. This was a challenging skill for most of the class, so we will continue to practice in guided reading groups for the next several weeks. This week we are inferring the meaning of inferential headings and subheadings in nonfiction. We use National Geographic Explorer magazines for practice because every issue is engaging, current and full of inferential subheadings!

The majority of our workshop is devoted to reading. Students alternate weekly between self-select independent reading and guided reading groups.

  • When students spend their week reading independently, they write a letter about their thinking by Friday. Students now have a choice of how they will share their deep thinking: traditional letter or blog entry. Our blog has been active with thinking as most choose this option.  Students enjoy having a choice of format.  We also work with fluency groups during this time and confer 1:1 with students about their independent reading.



  • When students participate in guided reading groups, we meet every other day for a guided reading lesson. Guided reading groups utilize short text and focus on specific skills students need.  Reading self-select books is at the heart of our reader’s workshop, so students in guided reading groups usually have enough time to complete their group work and spend time reading their self-select book.


We end workshop most days with some type of sharing activity. This often is a “turn and talk” with your nearest neighbor about your thinking or your work during reader’s workshop.

Please consider commenting on how helpful this post was to you as a parent.

2 thoughts on “Reader’s Workshop

  1. Very helpful to me, of course! I was wondering how this all worked. Hey, how about all those laptops?! I thought you all had to go to the computer lab to write in your blogs, but I see you in class in those photos. That’s great! How many laptops are available? Do you “check them out” of the computer lab to use?

  2. We have a laptop lab (soon to be updated to netbooks) that we can check-out or we can go to the computer lab. We do both 🙂 Our laptop lab and computer lab supports 24 students.

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