All About Reader’s Workshop!

This year I implemented a new system for guided reading.  It really isn’t “new”, but it is a compilation of everything that I have gathered from here, there, and everywhere about teaching reading.  Most likely you are rocking all of this out in your room too!

I use a projector to display our rounds, but a pocket chart works just the same.   The students rotate through a series of activities that repeat every day.  In our room this year we do all 5 rotations for 15 minutes every day.  I have the guided reading rotations projected and set to a timer. It takes all the management off of me!  The students know that they have an allotted time to work at each rotation and it is unwavering in its faithfulness.  They quickly learn the pacing of our rotations and adjust.   The timer makes a chime sound and students see a the new station projected.   I have not yet had a day when we didn’t complete this.  Mostly because it’s the first thing we do after our morning routine and whole group reading lesson.
We call our reader’s workshop, LEARN to readEach letter in the word learn stands for a rotation activity.

 First up, is L for listen to reading.  In our room this year students go to the computer to listen to stories, and answer comprehension questions.

 I used to have the tape player, or CD player, or nano device to play the stories, but now I keep it to our classroom computers using Raz Kids, and it has worked well for the last 4 years.  I know some teachers have shared that they do this on iPads. 

 Next, we have E for enjoy a book!  This can be interpreted any way that teacher needs!  It can be at your teacher table, it can be reading from a student’s book box in a cozy spot, really anything to do with reading and books!  In our room, each student has a book box and can read in the class library.

A is for Attention to Writing!
This year we have a dedicated writing table and book shelf which houses materials.  The students sit together at the writing table and either edit and analyze writing, or create their own!  You can find engaging writing materials on the right hand side bar of my blog.

R is for Read with a Friend!  Just like enjoy a book, this rotation is another spin on getting into a good book.  I use this station at my teacher table since students are in groups.  We are all on our reading journey together, but our reading group is a safe place where we take risks and learn together!

N is for New Words!  I love spelling and phonics!  It’s one thing that never gets old to me!  We are so great at finding out why words sound the way they do and having fun too!

If you need more spelling and phonics activities, you can find my phonics bundle on my side bar and each individual spelling pattern can be found in my store too!

 So much of what I create for my classroom can be used in one or more of these rotations.  It is so nice to have a variety of activities to use throughout the year to keep things engaging and motivating!

Here’s what it actually looks like for my students:
I open the power point file and click play slideshow.  The chime goes off and students see their first rotation for round one. 

You can display it in a pocket chart like this: It has all 5 rotations across from each group.
 (This is the math version-we call it stack)

So here’s what each group was doing for round one on the projected version above.
L- Listen to reading

 E- Enjoy a book

 A- Attention to writing

 R-Read with Teacher (I use it for small group)
(At my table-we started our small group time with a phonological awareness activity)

 N-New Words
Students are using sight word sticks to review weekly sight words.

 You can see the bottom of the projected sign on the left in this picture below.  Sometimes my groups get iPad time for New Words or Listen to a Book.  This is optional.

If you want these posters to display to keep your students on track, they are free!  Just click the picture below.

 If you want the Learn to Read Rotation System just click the picture below!

Just like I have this system for guided reading, I also have the same system for guided math!  My students rotate through a series of activities every single day.  The routine makes for a calm organized day while allowing me to meet with every student in small group.  I feel that we make big improvements in smaller time due to our intensity and our familiarity within our safe little groups at my back table!

If you want more info on a particular area, you can click below to find more blog posts!

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  1. I'm only in my second year of teaching and my first in first grade, so forgive the obvious questions. What do you use so individual students know which LEARN activity they need to go to? When are you meeting with your reading groups? What do you do in your reading groups? Thanks!

    1. It is not an obvious question! 🙂 I am going to add a paragraph to this post! I have a grouping system. Students who are in group 1 go to the icon next to the group one picture card. Group 2 has a different icon picture card and so on. Each group will go to each station for their 15 minutes. They do not all go in the order or LEARN. For example group 2 will start on E for enjoy a book and will end the day on L for listen to reading. The guided reading rotation pack has all the cards and icons. I will put it into the post to help! 🙂 Thank you for your question!

  2. Love this system….may try to implement it in my classroom. Where did you get the cute posters in your "Enjoy a Book" center?

  3. I use your LEARN rotation board on my smart board in class. (as well as STACK) my kids love it and it's made rotations effortless in KINDER! Thank you for these great products- love your stuff! 🙂

    1. I pull the different activities and fit them in when the time is right. It could be a little activity I pull out for small group. I sometimes put them activities in the writing center and use the recording sheets provided or have student record something in their writing journals. Other times the activities from the literacy units fit well with word work. We can also do them whole group too as a warm up or mixed in with a morning message. I just try to enrich what we do each day with something themey or fun that ties in!

    1. When I implement it, I assign them a number. That is their group number. I put up the group 1 card and write the names next to it. Then group 2 sign and the names etc. Then as time goes on, we don't even need the visual anymore because they know they are always group 1 or 2 etc.

  4. Can you edit the titles and colors of the centers? Also in one of your word work posts there was the activity with the pocket chart and matching the phonics picture with the words. Also another pocket chart where it looked like they were doing something with sight words? Can you explain that one to me?

  5. Oh, wow! This is really amazing! It is great that you share with the net all the achievements and strategies you've found best for the reading tasks. Thus we can learn SO MUCH. And you even share your posters and such, I'm really impressed and thankful!!!
    Thank you so much!

  6. Hi! I LOVE this! It is not so different from what I already do but tweaked a bit which is a very good thing! My question is how big are your groups? How big is your class? I seem to only be able to do six groups which is SO many to see in a day! Also, does your TPT include the powerpoint?

  7. How does your Big Phonics Bundle pack fit into this? Are you still doing one activity a day like you previously blogged about or is that at a different time of the day? I own practically your whole store, so I love to hear about your lessons! 🙂

  8. Great stuff….it's Daily Five just with no choices! I love Daily Five! Don't like the name of Daily 5 though. I just call it Practise Time for Reading and Writing. Learn to Read is good too. You've got everything there (including MacBooks I see…wow how lucky) so now consider giving the kids choice. It's amazing. Did 3 rounds today. Everybody focused and working hard. Took 7 weeks to get to this point.

  9. WOW! I love this! I will definitely use it when I get to teach this grade level after graduation!

    Right now, I am interning in a middle years class. I have a wide range of reading abilities, and I'm trying to find a way to teach the ones who are struggling without singling them out. Do you think this method could be adapted for grade 7?

  10. I would also love to see your powerpoint! I am trying to tweek this to fit our schedule and I want to set up a powerpoint with the timer – I love that idea!! How did you add the timer to the powerpoint? Thank you!!

  11. Oh, I forgot to ask about the circle, black center signs…LOVE them too. Do you have those available? I absolutely love your ideas and the look. I can't wait to get it going in my room this week!!