The Teacher's Tool Kit For Literacy

The Art Of Crafting The Reading Workshop

Episode Summary

Literacy expert Sharon Callen talks about the Reading Workshop for teaching reading to children.

Episode Notes

"As a teacher, you don't want your students to resist reading. You want them to burn to read, be engaged and be impacted on a number of levels through the books they read and the way you teach.  The Reading Workshop provides an excellent lesson structure for this to happen.

Speaking from personal experience, it starts by taking responsibility. And through learning more about the teaching of reading, investing in professional development and trying new things, we came to the Workshop Model," Sharon said.

What is a Reading Workshop?

The Workshop Model is generally described as having three components, built on the recognisable theory of the Gradual Release of Responsibility

A Reading Workshop means using the Workshop Model and teaching through TEXT - a Big Book (or Shared Enlarged Text) and a Read Aloud, because I’m workshopping what I do as a reader so they can do as a reader.

The whole 'workshop' implies activity, action, motivation to grow, try, explore, understand. So a Reading Workshop will have a 'Good Reader' Mini Lesson - that is, an opportunity for readers to get ‘just right’ information because as teacher I choose the Mini Lesson based on what my students are now ready for, what they need now, what I can bring to them and what we can try out together.

What am I teaching readers in a Mini Lesson? 

Focus on one or orchestrate a few strategies/skills- solving words, monitoring and correcting, adjusting, fluency, summarising, inferring, predicting, making connections, synthesising, analysing, critiquing.

Tools of the Mini Lesson: Knowledge of reading process, Big Books (Shared Enlarged Text)/Read Alouds/Literature, Anchor Charts.

Independent Learning:

Children read their selection of ‘just right’ books and practise the strategy. The teacher is conferring with readers - roving or one-on-one, hand holding those in the class who need a little more support before moving to Independent Reading.

Tools of Independent Reading: Children’s box/wallet/bag of ‘just right’ books, Reader’s Notebook, Reading Calendar/Log.


Students reflecting on what they have done as a reader - quick write in Reader’s Notebook, Turn and Tell - sharing, the whole class hearing what someone has done, talking about reading, writing about reading, being aware of processes/strategies, being a community.

Tools of Reflection/Share: Reader’s Notebook, Anchor Chart, Partner Talk

Why is the Reading Workshop important?

It’s important because it ensures that every child every day accesses the most important things readers need to be self motivated, self regulated, self directed, to be in charge of their reading - they need to be choosing what they read, they need to read with accuracy, they need to read with understanding, hear a fluent adult read, talk with peers about their reading, write about something personally meaningful.  

Enjoy the discussion and let us know any of your thoughts!

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The Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy is the free podcast for motivated teachers and school leaders who want the latest tips, tricks and tools to inspire their students and school community in literacy learning. 

Hear from literacy expert and founder of Cue Learning, Sharon Callen, and special guests.

At Cue Learning, our literacy specialists draw on over 30 years of teaching and international consulting experience to deliver world-class learning solutions. We equip, empower and support teachers to become their authentic selves. 

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