10 Tips to Help Get Reading Workshop Up and Running

Brianna Friedman-Parlitsis shared the following tips at TCRWP today:

1. Reading Spots – make a visible chart so students know where to read independently and where to partner share. She suggested to have students sit back to back during independent reading and then turn and face each other during partner share. Here are two charts showing kids WHERE to go during Reading Workshop:

2. Set up room BEFORE Reading Workshop begins. Have kids get out their book bags and logs. Have it all out and ready to go. Here’s a photo of a READING MAT that keeps readers reading!

3. Reading Logs: Students fill it in EVERYDAY, at school and at home. NON-NEGOTIABLE!
Lower grades like to just make tally marks. They LOVE the slash so they will be motivated to read the 5th  and 10th book!
4. Book Shopping: it is done weekly, by table, all on one day, by variety of levels. Shopping is a skill that will need to be taught – how to find a book, how to return a book, how to be sure it is JR.

5. Timers are needed and graphs to chart number of minutes read.
6. Set a goal. Make it visible:
7. Baggies: be sure to have enough books at a level so a student can fill bag, on average at the lower levels = 8-10 books / bag. 8. The bags can hold tools, too.
9. Keep libraries organized and fluid. They should change as youur units of study change to match the kind of reading you are doing.
10. HAVE FUN!  Reading Workshop is designed to give kids books they want to read. Get them excited so they are sad for Reading Workshop to end.

Brilliant Idea: Independence in Reading Workshop

I attended a workshop today called Ways to Create and use Reading Exemplars given by TC staff developer, Annie Taranto. She started by reminding us that when we want to raise the level of a student’s writing, a student can look at writing in books, observe how the author writers and INDEPENDENTLY work at improving their writing. But HOW do we help students INDEPENDENTLY work on improving their reading??

Anne shared a Post-it idea. Students were shown a RED postit (indicating a red flag – poor thinking.) Then shown a little bit better thinking (orange,,,then yellow). Strong thinking was shown on a GREEN post-it and really strong thinking on a blue post-it.

Students started to look at these Post-its and learn how to make a stronger thought while reading. They became more independent!! A brilliant way to help students be more independent in reading workshop!

More images from PS 503 – these relating to WRITING

While walking the halls of PS 503 in Brooklyn, I observed published writing outside ALL classrooms. Here are some photos showing students’ published writing:

Cool holder for published books.

Informational Writing Bulletin Board

Kinders’ Published Patterned Books


1st grade How-To writing


How-To Writing

All-About Writing

3rd grade Informational Bulletin Board

More All-About Writing

Teacher Feedback on 5th grade essays

Notes from visit to PS 503 – TCRWP Reading Coaching Institute

I have the great priviledge to attend the 7th Annual Coaching Institue focusing on Reading, grades 3-5 this week. Today I observed in PS 503 and took these photos.

These images show a 3rd graders desk, ready for Reading Workshop. His bag of JR books, his reading log, and his reading notebook showing his thinking.
I observed lessons related to character traits today. Here are some anchor charts I saw in 4th and 5th grade classrooms helping students to think about the traits of characters found in their books:

Annie shared using paint strips to show the gradient of character traits. A very easy and visula idea!

A 1st grade teacher posted the cover of read-alouds with the character trait of the character.
I liked the visual connection!