Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Launching Reading Workshop in 4th Grade {Workshop Wednesday}

Happy Hump Day! I'm linking up with Jessica over at Ideas by Jivey for her fabulous Workshop Wednesday linky. 

Last week was our first full week of school, so I launched our Reading Workshop. RW is always one of my favorite parts of the day and my students usually agree. I love having the opportunity to share great literature with my students! 

We beging by reviewing the procedures for coming to the reading area (rug) and choosing a good place to sit. When everyone is together we discuss how important it is to raise your hand and not blurt during reading time. 

The first book I share is Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton. 

The mini lesson for the day describes what RW is in our classroom. I explain that we will share our story or text of some kind, have a mini lesson, time to practice our skill from the lesson, and independent reading time. 

I keep it short and sweet. I'm really interested in making sure students enjoy the book and setting the tone that our RW is an enjoyable part of the day! 

By this time we have been in school 4 days and students are already asking if they can get a book from my library, so it's time to learn about how our library works. 

The text for this lesson is The Library Dragon by Carmon Agra Deedy. 

After reading the book we go back and read Ms. Lotty's library manners poster in the book. Then, we begin discussing how to check out a book, return a book to the correct place, and how important it is to keep the library neat. 

By this time they are all anxious to get their hands on a book, but we wait one more day until our mini lesson on Just Right Books. 

Today is the day students will begin to choose books and everybody is excited to get started! 

Our book for the day is Goldilocks and the Three Bears retold by James Marshall. 

After reading the book we discuss what kinds of things they look for that are just right - shoes, school clothes, beds, blankets, etc. Then I bring out some shoes and ask for their help in selecting a new pair. I "try" them all on and we talk about why they would or wouldn't be a good fit. This discussion leads into introducing Just Right Books. 

You can click here for a freebie poster on how to choose a just right book and the five finger test. 

After the mini lesson I begin helping a few students at a time choose a book. This is a long process and it took 2 days for everyone in class to get a book, but it is well worth taking the time to model and help students choose that first book. 

We use our experiences in RW from the past few days to create a list of "rules" for the workshop.

This year I read a new book for this lesson, Enemy Pie by Derek Munson. 

After reading and discussing the book, which is adorable and if you haven't read it you need to get your hands on a copy STAT, I bring the discussion back to RW. I ask the students to think about a new person coming into our room for the first time. What would that person see and hear during our reading workshop time? 

The students call out ideas and I write them up to use as our unofficial "rules" for reading workshop. We can then refer back to them throughout the year if we need a reminder about what workshop should be like. 

Thanks for sticking with me through that very long post! I wanted to be somewhat detailed because I remember how frustrating it was when I wanted to get started with workshop and couldn't find any real concrete plans for those first few days. 

How do you launch reading workshop? 


  1. Love all those books and love love love this post!! :) thank you for linking up!
    ideas by jivey
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  2. Lots of great ideas and lots of great book suggestions! Thanks!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  3. Absolutely love this post! These are wonderful suggestions and can't wait to give it a try. My new group needs lots of modeling! Thank you!!!

  4. I love Splat! and I love book suggestions - thanks!


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