Reader's Workshop + Daily 4

When it comes to reading instruction, I'm a big fan of taking bits and pieces of different methods and schools of thought and mixing it up.  No ONE way works for ALL of my students 100% of the make it interesting and put my own spin on things. 

Right now, I'm reading {loving, devouring, can't-get-enough-of) this book:
I'm sure, if you teach 3rd grade reading and writing, that you've read this book.....and probably use it on a weekly basis, but I'm just now discovering this book.  O.M.Geeee.......I should have read this sooner!  It has everything you need to know about reader's and writer's workshop!  It's fabulous.   
I've also read, and always re-read this book:
 This is what I use as a management tool to implement what I've learned in the Fountas and Pinnell book....AKA....the Bible!
On top of those 2 fantastic books, I'm also reading these 2 great finds:

Right now, I have an ELA block that combines bit and pieces of instruction, methods and best practices from each of these books.  My reading block is a little over 2 hours long and here's what that looks like on paper:
**Mini-lesson- here is where I teach what we are going to be learning (character traits, plot, story structure, theme, etc.).  This strategy/skill/teaching point is something I expect them to be able to use in their own independent reading.  I also expect to see them using this strategy/skill when they come read with me during guided reading. It's during this time that I use graphic organizers and put them in our journals for reference later.  This is a short lesson, not an hour long lecture.
**Independent Reading- this is time for the students to read, for a sustained amount of time, independently.  This book is not free choice.  I select the text we use here.  They get free choice during Daily 4. This looks different at the beginning of the year than it does at the end of the year.  In my classroom, we do book club (or literature circles).  At the beginning of the year, I model what this looks like and we read a novel together.  Then, once the students understand what I'm expecting from them, we move on to reading the book in groups.  Then, by Christmas time, the students are reading the book independently, and then meeting up with their groups to discuss (just like an adult book club would do). 
**Activity- there is always an extension activity to do that ties directly back into the mini-lesson, using the text the students have read that day.
**Daily 4- after the mini-lesson, independent reading and extension activity, we dive into D4.  I use 4 stations instead of 5 so that I can extend the time in each station.  The 4 stations that I use for D4 in my classroom are:
  • Read to Self
  • Word Work
  • Read to Teacher
  • Listen to Reading
**I don't do work on writing during D4 because I have a separate writer's workshop time later on in the day.**
In Read to Self, my students get to choose their own books and read independently the entire time.  They are using the skills/strategies that we are working on during the mini-lesson and applying it to their own reading.  Free book choice is very important here!
In Word Work, my students work on a variety of skills to manipulate the English language, learn vocabulary, work on spelling, etc.  This station is exactly as it's working with words.
In Read to Teacher, my students come to my guided reading table and they receive small group instruction on how to become better readers. 
In Listen to Reading, my students log-on to the computers and listen to books on the computer.  This allows them to hear what fluent reading sounds like.  This also helps them with expression and the rhythm of reading. It's especially helpful with your ESL/ELL kiddos, but everyone benefits from it!
That's my reading block time.  Each station is 18-20 minutes. 
I hope this was helpful!  


  1. Thanks for sharing, just got hired for 3rd grade reading, from 4 years in 1st... this is a perfect outline for me, Thanks!

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