Readers Workshop: How to Manage It in Your Classroom This Year

I am so excited to share my READer’s Workshop Rotation Board with you. My Math Workshop Rotation Board is one of my most popular resources. I found it to be so successful in my classroom, that I created a similar format for structuring my reading block. Read all about my system for managing readers workshop below!

how to manage readers workshop

What is Readers Workshop?

Readers workshop is a model of instruction that involves a mini lesson, rotations, and a closing. It is very similar to a math workshop model.

Why Teachers Love Readers Workshop

Some of the reasons teachers love readers workshop include:

  • Readers workshop gives teachers the time to provide differentiated small group instruction, so they can meet the needs of their learners.
  • Teachers also have the flexibility to conference individuality with readers.
  • They can really get to know their students as readers.
  • It provides a structure for their literacy block, so students quickly learn the routine.
  • It offers teachers a lot of flexibility to make instructional decisions based on assessment data they collect.

What is the Readers Workshop Rotation Board?

The readers workshop rotation board is a display that teachers use as a management tool for readers workshop. You can assemble it using rotation cards, a title, group numbers, and pocket job titles.

readers workshop rotation board

How to Implement the Rotation Board

I divide my class into 4 groups and they rotate throughout the workshop. Like my MATH board, I created this to follow the word READ as an acronym.

  • R: Reader Response
  • E: Enjoy a Book
  • A: At your Seat
  • D: Discuss the Text

This format allows my to fully integrate our reading curriculum with guided reading, 1:1 conferences, self-selected reading and activities and projects. I love knowing that I can differentiate based on ability and meet the individual needs of my learners while providing them all with worthwhile activities throughout the entire reading block.

I use Treasures, but any program could be used with this system… or you could use it to do your own thing as well.

readers workshop rotation board
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Readers Workshop Resources

I’m feeling a bit like a kid on Christmas morning. After several years of teaching with a very prescribed curriculum (Treasures), we are moving towards a Reader’s Workshop approach. Pause for squeals of delight.

This year there will be book partnerships and student book clubs and kids reading texts that THEY elect to read because they are interested in them and projects in place of worksheets and literature circles and book talks and… Sorry, I get very excited just thinking about this. Giddy, in fact!

With great enthusiasm, I am dusting off and rereading several of my old standby favorites and voraciously reading some new ones. 

I share the full list of readers workshop professional development resources I am exploring below, but let me highlight some of my favorites. On Solid Ground: Strategies for Teaching Reading K-3 by Sharon Tabierski, Classrooms that Work: They Can All Read and Write by Patricia Cunningham and Guiding Readers and Writers (Grades 3-6) by Fountas and Pinnell are the books I consider to be “the classics”. The Daily Five and The CAFE Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literary Assessment and Instruction are both super popular and were key components in how I balanced teaching a basal-focused curriculum with a reading workshop “feel” to it.

Below are the most popular professional development resources for learning about and implementing readers workshop. If you click on them, it will bring you to an Amazon affiliate link.

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