Professional Development

September 15, 2011

Reader’s Workshop

I can’t believe I’m going to say this. I just might lose all of you. So just prepare yourselves. Go ahead, gasp. I do not like the CAFE system. There. I said it.

Are you still reading? Good! I have told you all before what a big fan of Lucy Calkin’s I have become. Her writer’s workshop has been an extremely powerful teaching tool for me. A good friend of mine (Shout out to Dawn!) went to a reader’s workshop training that was put on by Ms. Calkin’s peeps. She called me daily with all of the wonderful things she was learning, being reminded of, and excited to try! I thought it sounded great, but I had just read all about Daily 5 and CAFE.  I knew I had to at least give that system a try. Well, I did for the last 3 weeks and it just wasn’t working well for me.  Maybe it’s my group, maybe it’s just not my year. But I’m okay with that. TOTALLY okay with that!

So I took Dawn’s advice and bought Lucy’s (yeah, we’re on a first name basis now.  I mean, I watched her videos online and read her books. Hello! 😉 ) $10 book.  It’s not as laid out as her writer’s workshop units of study, so I have had to spend some extra time reading it. It’s a simple read.  It gets me excited, and it follows the EXACT model as her writer’s workshop.

I read through and picked out my first 10 mini-lessons Monday night and then I started implementing on Tuesday. Ladies (and gents if you are out there), it was HEAVENLY!! Not only did I love the routine, but my kids did, too! It was an easy transition because they were already familiar with it from writer’s workshop. Here is a picture of our anchor chart we made during our first mini-lesson. (Readers, like runners, have to warm up. Can you see the little runners leg in the corner?)

We also reviewed work station rules. Why I didn’t do this at the beginning of the year, I have no idea! I guess I thought, “Oh, they are in 1st grade. They definitely know how to do work stations.” Then I remembered we had a little thing called SUMMER… 

We reviewed our workstation rules and created this anchor chart.

Don’t go to Starbuck’s for 2 days. Save your $10. Buy her book. It’s well worth it.

Go HERE and check it out!  

***( I have been told that link no longer works.  When I googled it I found this for FREE!)

Also, I would be VERY interested in doing some sort of “book study” on this book and see what other mini-lesson ideas you guys get out of her book.  I think she is just fabulous! 🙂 

Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for your posts! I, too, am a Reading Workshop fan. I’ve tried Daily 5 but only in a workstation approach while my Title kids are out of the room. I just have to give a mini-lesson and let the entire group read. I just ordered the $10 book!

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