teach students how to read - teach them to love reading

how to set up Reader's Workshop in your classroom


for teachers interested in setting up writer's workshop, this book is fantastic


Why use Reader's Workshop?

Once implemented, Reading Workshop can quickly become students' favorite part of the day.

Since the format gives students tools for selecting and comprehending literature, students who were once reluctant to read now find themselves with the skills needed to be successful readers. Over the course of the year, students read many books and are encouraged to do as good reader's do in exploring different genres, authors, and texts.

The program emphasizes the interaction between readers and text. Students learn to ask questions, make connections with prior knowledge and previously read texts, and ask questions to clarify faulty comprehension they recognize has occurred.

The program includes peer conferences and teacher conferences with students but emphasizes students' independence and allows them to become successful readers outside of the classroom.

What is the format of Reader's Workshop?

Reader's Workshop uses a similar format to Writer's Workshop. There are several consistent components but there is much variation on how it is implemented in different classrooms.

• Mini-lessons on some aspect of literature or a reading strategy.
• Independent Reading Time, where students keep a journal and respond to the literature in terms of what they think or how they feel about what they are reading.
• Sharing Time where students share with another person their journal entries and the other person gives feedback.

During Independent Reading Time, the teacher engages in student conferences on an individual or group basis. Teachers can also engage in guided reading with groups of students who need additional support.

What is the Goldilocks Method of Choosing Books?

An Example

Variation: Five Finger Rule

What resources are available to support me?

Reader's Theater (free scripts to download)

Mrs. Meachum's Mini-Lessons

Videos Modeling Implementation of Reader's Workshop

More Videos

Differentiation in Reader's Workshop


Reading Remedies for iPhone/iPad
diagnose areas of potential reading difficulty

Fluency Timer for iPhone/iPad and Mac
time and record students' reading fluency

Classroom Examples

Beth Newingham: What It Looks Like in My Classroom

Mrs. McDavid's Class Web Site

Hill Elementary Classroom with Videos

The Learning Pad Reading Workshop Site

Guiding Principles from Alpine School District


Components of Readers Workshop


Additional Resources

Common Core

RTI (Response to Intervention) Resources

Open Court


Independent Work




Written about middle schoolers but applicable at all grades. This is a must read for teachers setting up reader's workshop.

Lucy Calkins writes for the elementary grades. Also fantastic.