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Simple and Effective Readers Workshop Guideline

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“Readers read” is a quote that comes out of my mouth daily! Reading time is sacred. I know it. My students know it. My administration knows it. I feel blessed to have found a way to incorporate reading into my schedule in a way that’s perfect for me and my kiddos and I’d love to share it with you! Guys, I live, work, and breathe Readers Workshop and follow the Readers Workshop guideline to a T. It’s the core of my classroom. Here’s the jist of my workshop schedule in case you need a guideline to follow:

9:25-9:35 Readers Workshop Mini Lesson

   My students set their books out at their seats and come down to the floor for the mini lesson. The mini lesson contains 4 components:

  1. Connection – Connect the lesson to the day before or build on schema that the students have. 
  2. Teach – During the teach portion… you teach! HA! This is actually my favvv part of the mini lesson. Here, you explicitly model and think aloud how the students can apply the skill I’m teaching into their reading lives. Have fun during this part and make it real for your students!
  3. Active Engagement – Here, your students will turn and talk with a partner, act something out, stop and jot etc. It’s their turn to move and discuss. 
  4. Link – During the link, you will wrap up your lesson and students will go off to apply it to their independent work with their books.

9:35-9:55 Independent Reading

     During the Readers Workshop independent reading time, students take their book boxes full of books and find their reading spots. Their reading spots are pre-selected in the beginning of the year. Here, they will spend 20 minutes enjoying the just right books they shopped for that week. They can also be responding to their texts in journals. *Individual and/or group conferring can happen during this time. The teacher can work with students alone or in small groups (guided reading/strategy groups) to meet each students needs.  

9:55-10:05 Partner Reading

     Students will clean up their area and go to their partner reading spot. They will sit knee to knee and for the next 10 minutes, they will read and discuss their books with a peer. *Individual and/or group conferring can happen during this time. The teacher can work with students alone or in small groups (guided reading/strategy groups) to meet each students needs.  

10:05-10:10 Share

     During the share, students clean up their books and come back down to the floor to close Readers Workshop up. The teacher can share some things she noticed or students can share about ways they responded to their text.   Guys, I can’t say enough good things about Readers Workshop! I have seen my students grow, grow, grow throughout my teaching years by applying this type of teaching into my classroom. Are you interested in beginning Readers Workshop in your classroom but don’t know how to get started? Click HERE to check out these CHEAP scripted lesson plans I’ve created to help walk you through each day and each genre. These is a perfect Readers Workshop guideline to get you through an entire year!


All of my lessons are based from Lucy Calkin’s Units of Study lessons. Lucy is the Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project where she co-directs the Literacy Specialist program. She is amazing at what she does! If you want to purchase her reading set, click HERE!
Or maybe you’d rather get scripted WRITING lessons by the guru, Lucy Calkin’s herself. If so, I suggest you click HERE to purchase Writers Workshop material for primary grades K-2. It includes 7 books with lessons in all genres, conferring notebooks and materials on CD! If you teach upper Elementary in grades 3-5, I suggest purchasing Lucy’s Units of Study for grades 3-5 HERE.

Read Aloud in Readers Workshop

Read aloud is another part of the Readers Workshop block where explicit instruction should be taken place. To read more about how I teach specific skills through my read aloud time, CLICK HERE.

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