Saturday, July 9, 2011

Readers' Workshop

Welcome to my Readers' Workshop!

In our middle school we are on a block schedule. Each class is an hour and fourty five minutes.
Here is what Reader's Workshop looks like in my classroom:

To see what Reader's Workshop looks like in my classroom, visit my classroom blog Zrihen's Zone for pictures & videos. (more will come as the year progress.)

DEAE time - 30 min.     / The teacher meets with Guided Reading Groups or Conferences.
Reader's Jurnal - 10 min.
Mini Lesson - 15 min.
Class Novel Read ALoud - 20 min.
Discussion - 10 min.
Impact - 20 min.  (our FCAT prep. workbook)
Wrap Up - 5 min. (exit tickets)

I do not believe in busy work! I no longer give bell work - I'd rather they READ!!!!

DEAR Time:
As my students enter my room they already have their book in their hand (they take it our in the hall when they line up. It does take some training :)) no time is wasted! The students walk in, check out the book nook poster for their weekly seats, hang their back packs, and take a sit in their designated book nooks.
The timer is set for 30 min., soft classical music is playing in the background and EVERYONE is reading!!!!
At this time I walk around the room to check what everyone is reading, conduct one-on-one conferences, and work with small (2-3 kids) guided reading groups. Click here to view pictures of our DEAR time!
During this time student read books of their choices. My classroom library is not leveled. It is organized by genres.

Reader's Journal:
When the timer goes off at the end of the 30 min. designated DEAR time, the students take out their Reader's Journals and log in their books. Students actually write weekly response letters to their books online - they BLOG!!!!! and print out their letters and glue them into their Reader's Journal.
I found the blogging their journals gets my reluctant readers & writers more involved. They are also commenting one one another's blog which makes reading and responding much more interactive.
I never have to carry notebooks home again!!! Winner!!!! I just log onto their blogs!
They do have to print their letter though and glue them into their notebooks so that the school has copies for auditing purposes. Here is a sample of a student's Reader's Journal Blog from this past summer.
You can find the list of forms we use in our Reader's Journal below (scroll down the page) and is also available in my TpT store.

Mini Lesson
After DEAR and Reader's Journal time we than procced to our 15-20 min. mini lesson.
We begin the year with procedural mini lessons, and move into strategies & literary elements.
As I teach middle school I fo not use anchor charts (too much to keep up with when you teach 6 classes)
I project my mini lesson on the board and the students copy the notes into their ISN's. (For more information on my Interactive Student Notebook check out this post)
For my sixth graders I do provide an outline of my notes to make things run more smoothly as they are new to the program.
For a complete list of my mini lessons scroll below. Mini Lessons are available in my TpT store.

Class Novel Read Aloud & Discussion
At this time the entire class reads the same book. (unlike DEAR time where they choose their own book)
We take turns reading as whole class, listening to the book on audio (if available), or partner reading.
We use this time to practice the skill we covered during the mini lesson, and discuss what we are reading.
This is the perfect opportunity for alternative assessment as the students discuss the story.

This is our first year using Impact  workbooks. They are full of high interest stories that my kids are going to love!!! Perfect practice for our state assessment - FCAT.

Wrap Up
Our wrap up activity is quick, simple, and friendly.
We use a Post It Parking Lot (click the link to read more about it)

Here is a list of the items you can find in my TpT stores. These forms & mini lessons will enhance your Readers' Workshop.

Visit my TpT store

Readers' Journal
Readers' Journal Guidelines
Books I'd Like To Read
Reading Interest Log
Genres Tracker
Genres At A Glance
Reading Log
Blog Roll
Reading Goals & Progress
Fiction - Reader's Journal Rubric
Non-Fiction - Reader's Journal Rubric
Current Events Journal
Response Starters
A Book A Week Challenge Chart (based on the Book Whisperer)

Interactive Student Notebook:
Notebook Guidelines
Notebook Rubric

Mini Lessons: (please bare with me as I upload them to my TpT store)
The Secret to Being A successful Reader
Time Management
Note Taking & Setting Up An Interactive Student Notebook
Reviewing At Home
Test Taking Tips
Top Ten Reasons to Read
Readers Bill of Rights
Book Borrowing Procedures - Classroom Library
Ways We Choose Books
Just Right Books
Abondoning Books
Readers Workshop Rules
Responding To Reading - Reader's Journal
Book Talk
What Do Good Readers Do
Before Reading Strategies
During Reading Strategies 
After Reading Strategies
Fix Up Strategies
The Literary Genres
Fiction VS. Non Fiction
Text Features
Main Idea
Supporting Details
Patterns of Organization
Word Parts (prefix, suffix, root)
Context Clues
Point of View & Author's Perspective
Compare & Contrast
Cause & Effect
Fact VS. Opinion
Weak VS. Strong Argument
Validity & Accuracy
Reference Resources
Literary Elements
Characters & Characterization
Plot Structure
Point of View
Tone & Mood
Theme & Motif
Figurative Language
Lit. Terms (Prequels, Sequels, Prologues, Epilogues, Trilogies, and Series)

I am always available to answer and address any question or concerns you may have :)


  1. Thank you for this detailed blog about Reader's Workshop. I too teach middle school (sixth grade) and like how you have empowered the students to orchestrate their own learning. Have you ever tried for recording student reading? I just discovered the site this year and am using it to record and provide incentives for student reading.

    I can be found at

    Keep up the good work!!

  2. Thanks Mrs. Howard!

    I'm in the proccess of uploading my Guided Reading work :)

  3. I know that you create those really amazing literacy bags ... wondering where you fit those centers in during your reading workshop time?

    1. Thank Brit! We do centers for 30 min a day everyday of the week. Check out my centers post for more details.


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