This summer, my friend, Laura Candler, sent me her two most recent books on reading workshop. I was excited to receive these materials because we do reading workshop in my second grade class. I expected to find some handy tips and a few printables I could use, but what I didn't expect was to find two resources that would be my go to guide for planning and preparing each lesson.
I've been using the reading workshop model for the past four years. Being a board member for the Michigan Reading Association and the co-Technology Director, I've been fortunate enough to meet several experts in this area. I've had breakfast with Fountas and Pinnell, lunch with Ellin Oliver Keene, attended workshops by Kathy Collins and Anita Archer, collaborated with Troy Hicks and Ginny Dowd, partnered with Larua Candler and Donalyn Miller, and more. I mention this only to add validity to the quality of Laura's resources. There are many resources I've used. I've attended extensive professional development in the area of reading workshop and writing workshop. I am happy to express to you that her resources are among my absolute favorite for teaching the workshop model.
- What is the Power of Reading Workshop? (basic components and tools)
- Teacher Preparation (steps 1 - 3: materials, conference notebook, finding books)
- Basic Reading Workshop (10 daily lessons to launch your workshop)
- Power Reading Tools (12 tools to use as you continue your mini-lessons)
In the image above, you can see a segment from her forth chapter, Power Reading Tools. This chapter includes twelve tools you can use in your reading workshop. This is one of my favorite chapters because each tool starts with a detailed guide for the teacher including a step by step road-map for instructional delivery. Each tool includes printable samples you can use with your students, prompts, completed samples to use for examples, tips, recording sheets, and more!
The best part about this particular book is that it's great for a workshop beginner or a workshop expert. If you're just starting out with teaching reading workshop, I highly recommend this resource. The ten daily lessons in chapter three will really guide you with how to launch your workshop. I remember transitioning from using a basal to doing workstations to doing workshop. I really loved the First 20 Days resource by Fountas and Pinnell when I began using a workshop approach. I wish I would have had Laura's book when I first started. However, even though I've been doing the workshop model for a few years, I'm thankful that I now have this tool to refresh my teaching and to give me additional creative ideas to do for next year. I also like that I don't have to create each tool to use. Laura has each resource ready to print. How nice!
In chapter two, Laura outlines ten daily lessons to launch your reader's workshop. For each of the ten days, she suggests two mentor texts you could use with your mini-lesson. If you're like me, you are probably always adding books to your cart on Amazon. I have a wish list that I dump all of my dream items into as I'm planning my shopping on Amazon. Then, as I can, I move items from my wish list to my cart to purchase. I've created a handy widget below that includes all twenty mentor texts that Laura suggests as read alouds during her ten days of launching reader's workshop. I love that she did this because it's sometimes hard finding that 'just-right' book to go with each of your lessons. There is such power and magic in finding that just-right book!
Laura's resources have become my favorites simply because they make sense. As soon as I opened Power Reading Workshop, I sat down with the book and began brainstorming where I could plug in each tool or strategy with my existing model. The book is 100% teacher friendly. The chapters are laid out in an organized manner. Each chapter contains just enough information without overwhelming the reader or leaving one slightly confused. I especially love the photographs and diagrams woven throughout each section. Being a visual person, I really enjoy taking a peak into the photos of the classroom spaces.
These two books are great when sold individually, but I highly suggest having both resources.