Saturday, December 3, 2011

No More Anthology=1 Happy Teacher and a Roomful of Engaged Students!

This was my first week of teaching without our county adopted reading anthology + workbook = instruction model,!!!! When my students came into our classroom on Monday they noticed that there reading book had been removed from their desks. I didn't say a thing about where they went. I called my students over to the carpet for our mini-lesson for reading workshop and that's when I laid it on them that there was going to be no more reading boring stories out of our yellow reading book. Their faces were priceless! Not surprising, the boys in my class were the most excited.
My first task was to get my students to understand that they needed to be reading for longer periods of time. I am using A Curricular Plan for the Reading Workshop as my basis for my instruction and they begin with lessons to build reading stamina. My students bought into the idea of being able to read their book for a longer period of time. While we have only been at this one week, it became more and more difficult to get my students to put their books away, even after reading for 40 straight minutes!

After they finished their reading, students were eager to buzz about what they had read and learned that day. They busied themselves during their reading time writing sticky notes, and completing Independent Directed Reading tasks (IDR). The amount of times I had to redirect my students talking and off task behavior was greatly minimized. This approach to teaching reading is just what I've been looking for!
Several teacher friends of mine in my district have been asking about how to begin the Reading Workshop. I recommend getting the book The Book Whisperer, by Donalyn Miller

This text is a wonderful starting place if you want to learn more about using the workshop model to teach reading. I am currently working on creating yearlong curriculum maps for both the reading and writing workshops. If you are interested in any of my reading workshop materials, let me know!


  1. I cannot tell you how much I love this!

  2. If it makes you happy to read it, you can't begin to imagine how freeing it is in my classroom!!!! My kids are engaged and loving our new reading time and as a bonus, we actually have time for .....WRITING! This year is awesome and I don't want it to end.

  3. I stumbled across your blog after perusing TN. I saw your "I Can" Common Core statements for Math and thought I'd see if you had any for LA. This will only be my second year teaching and I am striving to be an amazing teacher. On that note, I feel like my reading and writing workshops need some revamping. It was only natural that I would click on your blog link for Reading Workshop and spend part of my morning reading all your good stuff. I have read The Book Whisperer this summer and am fully on board with it, but I would love input or ideas you are willing to offer about what you are specifically doing and how to get it started. Thanks in advance. I know you're probably busy wrapping up your summer. My email is

  4. I am reading The Book Whisperer as we speak and I am just loving it!!! I am definitely interested in your reading and writing workshop materials. Is it too late?? I adore your blog :)


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