Reading Workshop

Made up of a minilesson, independent and partner reading time/conferring and/or small group instruction, mid-workshop teaching, and a share.


Minilessons usually run around 10 minutes.  Teachers begin by connecting to prior work, the current unit of study or students’ work, and then clearly state the teaching point for that day.  Teachers then teach by demonstrating a reading skill and strategy that will support students as readers.  Next, students have an opportunity to practice the strategy after the demonstration during active engagement by trying it on in one of their just-right books, planning for their reading work aloud, or in a section of a familiar demonstration text.  Teachers then link the minilesson strategy, as an addition to students’ reading repertoire.  Minilessons are organized from concrete to abstract skills within a unit of study and are grounded in teachers’ assessment of student needs.

Student Book Bins/Bags

•  Students read from their book bins or bags throughout their independent reading time.  Book bins usually contain:
•  Several just-right books from the leveled library (amount depends on student reading level)
•  A picture book from the genre library or school library
•  A separate bag of guided reading books that were read during small group work for rereading in service of fluency and understanding
•  Post-its, reading notebooks, bookmarks, pencil/pens as reading tools


Student Reading Time with Conferring and/or Small Group Instruction

During student reading time, the work time can be divided between private time when students read just-right books to themselves, and partner time, when students read and talk with their reading partners around the minilesson teaching point.  If there is not a time of day when small group work is occurring outside of the workshop, teachers may choose to confer with students three days a week and work in small groups with students two days a week while students are reading independently.  Teachers may pause for mid-workshop teaching to refocus students, highlight conferring work, or teach another skill that builds upon the minilesson teaching point.

Teaching Share

After independent reading time, students return to the meeting area for the teaching share.  Teachers select one or two students to share how they utilized the minilesson strategy in service of understanding what they read independently that day.  Teachers may also use the share time to introduce upcoming reading minilessons or work that unfolded during an individual student conference with the whole group.  The share time usually runs between 5-10 minutes.