Elementary Reader's Workshop

  • Philosophy

    Reading is a complex cognitive process. While it is often thought of as a singular act, our brains are actually engaging in a number of tasks simultaneously each time we sit down with a book. There are five aspects to the process of reading: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, reading comprehension and fluency. These five aspects work together to create the reading experience. As children learn to read they must develop skills in all five of these areas in order to become successful readers. The goal of Readers Workshop is for students to receive explicit instruction on grade-level benchmarks, opportunities to practice the skill through independent reading and small-group instruction, and time to share their learning.

  • Guidelines

    Mini-Lesson: 10-15 min

    • Focus on one teaching point addressing grade-level reading standards and reading indicators, posting and stating the daily lesson objective in “kid-friendly” language.
    • Provide focused instruction that reinforces and models the teaching point, creating clear expectations for student work.
    • Support student engagement through cooperative routines such as Turn and Talk or Think, Pair, Share.
    • Explicitly state the link from the mini-lesson to the day’s independent reading work.

    Literacy Work Time: 40 minutes

    • Students are reading and writing and directly applying reading strategies they have learned.
    • Students are reading “just right books” independently or within partnerships or buddies.
    • Teachers teach differentiated and data-driven small-group lessons.
    • Teachers confer with students to find out about the students’ reading interests, strengths and needs as they guide and help students to grow as readers.

    Share: 5 minutes

    • Whole class reviews, reflects and elaborates on student learning.

  • Small-Group Instruction

    • Use student data to form small groups.
    • Deliver lessons with specific teaching objectives and texts that align with group’s reading stage.
    • Put emphasis on students doing the reading, thinking, and talking work.
    • Monitor student learning and maintain records of observed understanding and additional instruction required.

  • Variations

    • Provide multiple ways of accessing the mini-lesson benchmark, for example posting video of yourself modeling a concept or demonstrating a skill. Post the video in Schoology so students can revisit as many times as they wish to review.
    • Have students use Seesaw to capture their learning and share with you and peers.
    • Use whole group, small-group, partner and individual instructional practices to engage all learners.
  • Reader's Workshop Graphic

    The learning environment:

    • is print-rich, including an inviting classroom library with leveled texts for independent reading
    • features daily reading, thinking, and talking through text
    • includes explicit teaching of reading strategies and skills followed by meaningful tasks
    • allows time for readers to talk about their books.

  • key image For Elementary Literacy Schoology group access, please contact Sue Braithwaite (susan.braithwaite@spps.org)