The great thing about reader’s workshop is that it has been around for a long time and lots of people have found ways to put their own spin on it. This means that there are a ton of books out there to help get you started.
This also means that there are a ton of books out there which can leave you feeling like you don’t even know where to start. Which means that you don’t even start.
That is where I come in. Although I can not claim that I have read all of the books out there, I can claim to have read a lot and implemented the things that I learned from these books.
That’s the secret sauce you know. Not just reading the books, but actually implementing the things you learned inside them.
I have compiled a list of my top 3 books to help you get your reading block off and running at the beginning of the year. The great thing about these books is that you will revisit them often and they will become invaluable tools.
Reader’s Workshop Structure
The First book I will talk about is The Daily 5. This is one of my most well loved books on my bookshelf. It’s called Daily 5 because students have the opportunity to engage in five different meaningful literacy tasks, they are: read to self, read to someone, work on writing, listen to reading and word work. In the book you will learn that students do not have to engage in all 5 tasks each day.
My favorite part was not having to make things for these stations every week. There is an easy to use reference chart towards the back of the book that tells you where to start on your journey.
From this book I learned how to structure my reader’s workshop so that I could ensure that my students were engaging in meaningful literacy tasks. In addition I was able to start day one of school. This book is chock full of research that helps you understand the why behind the what. I implemented the teachings in this book when I taught second grade.
Although, my workshop has evolved over the years, the things I learned in this book helped me to understand the importance of explicitly teaching my students what expected them to be able to do on their own.
The second book on my list is The Reading StrategiesBook by Jen Seravallo. I love this book for the variety of strategies that it offers. The only thing that I disagree with is the claim that you can scan it and then turn around and teach the strategy to your students right away. In my 4 step approach to writing a mini lesson I teach you that one of the steps to crafting a mini lesson that sticks is trying the strategy on for yourself.
Also there is often scripted language that you can use in addition to different questions that you can ask students. You need to not just scan the strategy you need to think about whether or not that particular strategy or approach will work for you and your class. Aside from that fact if you are new to teaching it is a great resource and place to start your journey.
The third book on my list will help you tackle guided reading, it is called The Next Steps Forward in Guided Reading. It is set up so that the teacher can look up the type of reader their student falls into and it helps you make decisions about what your students within that group need in order to be able to move up to the next level in reading. It is user friendly and as a perk of buying the book you get access to the videos as well. It is almost like a field guide for guided reading.
Okay that’s it for now. My top 3 book recommendations for launching your reading block at the beginning of the year. I did leave off a couple of components and that’s because you may not be ready for those quite yet at the beginning of the year. So in order not to overwhelm I wanted to start with these three.
Please let me know if you buy any of these and tag me on social media when you are using them to help you plan for your students.