Inside Reader's Workshop

    In our 3rd grade classroom, reading is taught through a reader's workshop model. For about an hour each day, students are actively engaged in authentic reading experiences based on each student's strengths and needs. Our students are truly growing their reading muscles! Here's the structure of our Reader's Workshop:

    • Minilesson: In the minilesson portion of Reader's Workshop, I explicitly teach the whole class a skill and/or strategy that will encourage students to become independent, lifelong readers.
    • Independent Reading: Students are engaged in self selected, just right reading in book nooks around our classroom. While reading, students are practicing the skills and strategies used in the minilesson, as well as reading about, talking about, and responding to ideas all centered around literacy!
    • During Independent Reading: I confer with individual readers on their specific strengths and needs, instruct small strategy groups, and convene guided reading groups.
    • Share: Students gather in a circle and share what they worked on as a reader. This allows us to hear and learn from all of the experiences students have been forming inside our Reader's Workshop!
    What does a Just Right book sound like?
    It is very important that when our readers are reading independently, they are reading books that are just right. Students have learned to choose books that are just right in level and interest. We have compared choosing a just right book to riding on a bike. Here's how we shop for just right books:

    just right books

    Easy Books:
    Books that are filled with words the child knows, which means he or she does not have to use any strategies to figure tricky words out. A child would read this with fluency and speed.

    Hard Books: Books that are filled with many words the child does not know, which means they are using so many strategies to figure out tricky words that meaning is lost.

    star Just Right Books: Books that are filled with mostly words the child knows, but some he or she does not know. This is very important, because it gives the child an opportunity to tackle tricky words using their strategies...this is working their reading muscles! Children should be able to understand what they're reading, while still having to do some deeper thinking.