How I Manage Reader’s Workshop


I am so excited to share my READer’s Workshop Rotation Board with you. My Math Workshop Rotation Board is my #2 selling product {and has a 4.0 rating with close to 500 votes}. I found it to be so successful in my classroom, that I created a similar format for structuring my reading block.

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)


Included inthe printable packet are the rotation cards, title, group numbers and pocket job titles. Each card/image can be customized to any color you want by printing onto colored paper to meet your needs.

{Click here to access and download My READer’s Workshop Rotation Board Packet}

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.

Last year I created a READer Workshop Rotation Board which allowed me to cover the required lessons from Treasures, but deliver the instruction in small groups. If you need to teach using a basal it is a great fit.

However, 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!

While this change is welcome {and in a way feels like a homecoming because it is sort of where I started}, new books and new research and new ideas and oh…a little old thing called the Common Core…will have things looking a bit different than they did back in the day when I began teaching.

And so it is with great enthusiasm that I am dusting off and rereading several of my old standby favorites and voraciously reading some new ones. 

Since I plan to blog about the process of implementing an authentic Reading Workshop to my classroom, I thought I would start by sharing the titles of the books I’m using for my research.

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” and were extremely influential in my early teaching. I’ve read all three several times and revisiting them was like getting together with an old friend after being apart for too long. I had the opportunity to attend a conference presented by Sharon. The manner in which I design my classroom can be traced back to her.

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. I’m interested in rereading The CAFE Book now that the Common Core is a thing and aligning the ideas in it with the standards. As for The Daily Five…I love the book, but continued to be baffled by the fact that it includes great information on teaching writing and “working with words” and yet the title on the cover is not capitalized. LOL

I read The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child last spring.

I wanted to love it.

I did in fact LOVE parts of it, but I found myself really put off by some of the author’s writing that I struggle with the idea of actually recommending it to other teachers. I feel that she has great ideas and philosophies and am thrilled that she is successful in her classroom.  However, she often wrote in a way that compared her classroom to the teachers her students had before her and the teachers they had after her in a manner that portrayed them as being inferior to her. Not cool.  I felt it was a theme throughout the book and is cause for me not to suggest it to others (and caused me to not order her other book)…too bad too because there is some good content in it.

I just downloaded Growing Readers: Units of Study in the Primary Classroom yesterday and have been reading it on the iPad. So far I’m loving it. I’m reading it at the same time as Notebook Connections: Strategies for the Reader’s Notebook which I am really loving!

Below are some of the covers {if you click on them you can read more about each title as well as other teachers’ reviews of each text on Amazon} for the titles I’m reading and have read along with a few that are next on my list?

What am I missing? Do you have a favorite that you think I must read?

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Grab this freebie and engage your students in a fun seasonal activity. It’s a great way to practice opinion writing.