Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Setting up Reading Workshop...and some freebies!

I'm linking up with Jivey's Workshop Wednesday for Getting Reading Workshop Started! I wish I was already in my classroom setting up, but this energy workshop has really been taking up most of my time this week. I'll be sure to post about some of the things I'm learning and will be implementing in science from the workshop later!

A big part of getting Reading Workshop started in my room is launching the Daily 5 system. I begin by talking about how to choose a good fit book. I've talked a bit before about how I use IPICK from the Daily 5 book to help guide students in their choices. My first mini-lesson is straight from the Daily 5 book and involves me bringing in a bunch of books and talking about why they are not good fits for me.  I also make the shoe analogy from the book for the kids. Finally I show a few examples of some books that are good fits. We take some time to quickly choose our first good fit book, so we have one to practice Read-to-Self. (Kids refine their ability to choose an actual good fit book over time.)

Go here to get a copy of my IPICK bookmarks for free! I made them using just 4 of the colors from my Chevron Overlays Pack (just $2)!

Click here to grab my CAFE headers for free!
Next I introduce Read-to-Self and the concept of building stamina for the first few days, so today I'll just talk about that. For the uninitiated, stamina refers to the amount of time that students can read in one sitting. And I mean READ, not sit quietly and look at a book. We begin the year trying out read-to-self and I monitor the stamina. 
Before we try to read the first time, I explain what my expectations for read-to-self are by making an anchor chart about it with the kids. Once the expectations are clear I help the kids find a good spot in the room (not next to friends, etc.), my kids can sit anywhere in the room while reading. As soon as we are situated, I start the timer and begin monitoring. 

Typically within a minute or two at most I notice a kid who isn't reading. At this point I call the entire class back to the carpet and we talk about some of the behaviors I noticed that let me know that we had maxed out our stamina for the moment. We review the anchor chart, and I send them out again. Usually at this point the message has been made that sitting and staring (even quietly) does not constitute Read-to-Self. But I will call the kids back to the carpet as many times as necessary to make the point. We usually get a solid 15 minutes of stamina (upper grades) to begin and the class quickly builds to 30 minutes. I feel confident that the kids are actually reading the whole time because I've made it clear that that is the ONLY acceptable activity at that time. Talking, daydreaming, picking new books, going to the bathroom, etc. are not. 

We graph our stamina daily, and the kids love to see the progress! I think the graph motivates them to build stamina faster actually.
Click here to grab a stamina chart!
After we have a good handle on how to pick a good fit book, what stamina is, and what Read-to-Self is all about...I begin introducing the other components of the workshop. I do all 5 of the things, but I have modified them a good bit. I count my daily read-aloud as "Listen to Reading", our Book Buddies as "Read to Someone", our Reading Response Journals are our "Write about Reading", a combination of Reading Olympians (Latin & Greek roots study), spelling practice, grammar skills, etc. make up our "Word Work."

I won't even begin to worry about forming strategy groups until about 15-20 days into the school year. The whole first few weeks are set aside for launching the system properly and conferring individually with students!

Whew! Thanks for sticking around for all of that! I wish I had more pictures for the post!


  1. I love that Stamina Chart! Great visual for students to track and monitor their progress. It's funny about the kid you find who isn't reading! I make an anchor chart for Real Reading vs. Fake Reading-they give me the best responses! Then I let them know they just told me all their tricks for "fake reading"! haha
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. Thank you! I am implementing Daily 5 for the first time this year & really appreciate all of your hard work! Thank you!

  3. Thanks for the cute bookmarks! Love the chevron!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  4. Can you make a Teacher Stamina Chart for the first week? Then the kids could really see what it is like.
    These are great btw.


  5. I love the stamina chart. Thank you!


  6. I love the idea of graphing stamina! I hadn't thought of that before!

  7. As I race to get everything ready to begin Daily 5 for the first time this year, your freebies were just what I needed. I love your style and color schemes!

  8. OOOHHHH (did you see the lightbulb go on)!!! I'm SO glad you talked about using the Reading Olympians for Word Work with D5. I want to use something like that in my classroom, but couldn't figure out how to make it work in addition to our weekly spelling words, etc. Now I know :)
    Thank you!

  9. The stamina chart is a great idea! I think getting students into great reading habits early on is key to success in reading workshop or Daily 5 or any type of independent program your working on in your classroom ;)

    Thanks for sharing,
    My Shoe String Life

  10. I printed the stamina chart and ran it through our poster maker- thanks so much for sharing! I'll be sharing how it goes in a future post! :) Thanks for linking up!

  11. Thanks! I printed the bookmarks. They are super cute.

    Ms. Chae Charges In

  12. Wow. This is an amazing post. I really like the way you have adapted Daily 5 to fit your needs. You have opened my eyes to ways I can make it work for my class too! Thanks so much. New follower :)

    Stickers and Stamps

  13. Thanks so much for the bookmarks and the stamina chart. I can't wait to use the stamina chart to challenge my students! I hope you have a great year! Our students return Monday!


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