Want to organize your room and supplies so that you get the most from your Reader's Workshop? I know I do. Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop are two of my favorite times of the day! I love the structure of the workshop. I love that every child can work at the same time, under the same structure, and yet each one be in their own “sweet spot”—just the right fit!
In this series of posts on setting up your classroom, here’s my thinking: I really want to show that when we set up our room, it isn’t about just making a cute classroom (although we think it is ). I try to be very deliberate in setting things up so that they instruction can occur the way that I think works best for our kids. We put a lot of thought into where things should be, just what should be on the walls, how can our kids be independent learners, how can we control the clutter…..
So here’s a couple of things we do to get organized and set up for reader’s workshop:
We want to start reader’s workshop from the very beginning of the year, but we know that most of our kinders are non text readers. So…we came up with this anchor chart to help us introduce our kids to the different ways one can read. It takes us 3 days to cover these lessons when we follow the Reader’s Workshop Mini Lesson Format. (This chart is from Blasting Off With Reader’s Workshop.)
On the 4th day, we have our children book shop for the books that we have used for the active engagement part of the lessons.
*They each select some books that that already know and can tell.
*They each select some books that they can look at the pictures and tell a story.
*They each select some of the vocabulary type books. These are the books that have a picture of a single item and then one word under the picture that labels the picture. This is a great way to practice “Read the words.” for non text readers.
*Each child has a 2 gallon ziploc bag with their name. The put the books they are selected, usually between 6-10, inside of the baggie.
*The baggies are stored in the baskets “Bags of Books.” (The Bag of Books label is included in Megan’s Classroom Décor Pack.)
Once we get things going, we start doing running records on the children who have demonstrated to us that they are reading text. If a child has a 95% accuracy rate on a level A, then they are ready to add some more books to their 2 gallon baggies.
I get a little overwhelmed with the book shopping. So..
*I took all the level A books and sorted them by their topic.
*I put all the animal books together, all the community books together, etc.
*Then, I took 6 books from one category (6 animal books) and put them in a freeze Ziploc gallon baggie.
*I added a label on the outside of the bag to show what the topic.
*I repeated this for each level B, C, D, etc.
*Each level is color coded.
So now we are ready to book shop:
*I determine which level would be their independent reading level (95% accuracy.) If a child is Below A in the independent level they will not have these books in their collection.
*I tell them what “color” tag they are looking for that matches their level.
*They pick the topic they want to read about.
*They place this gallon sized bag of books inside of a 2 gallon freezer baggie that has their name on the outside. This will also have the books that we picked from the lessons on the 3 Ways to Read a Book.
Our classroom library is sorted into five different areas of the room:
*Green Tubs are non fiction.
*Purple Tubs are concepts, etc.
*Brown Tubs are non fiction.
*Yellow Tubs are favorites-authors and characters.
*Display shelf hold whatever unit we are currently covering.
Once the children get to a level where they are able to determine if a book is too easy, too hard, or just right, we let them shop in the classroom library. We have found that this usually happens around between levels E-H.
The first few weeks of Reader's Workshop is all about setting those procedures. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
These charts are all included in our Blasting Off! Reader's Workshop Unit 1. The units also include scripted mini lessons to help organize your time for optimal learning!