ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Implement Reader's Workshops in Your School: Start Implementing Today

Updated on January 14, 2012

Inspired Teaching

Every teacher has had those spectacular moments of enlightenment when they realize they have found some method worth keeping and spreading not only through their own teaching but to encourage others to use as well. This moment came to me while sitting in a small, warm class at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. As I sat listening, reading and observing reader’s workshops, I realized I was experiencing something that would last beyond that summer or even the upcoming year. I was experiencing that passionate awakening that students really could get the individualized instruction and attention they needed. Just knowing that I could use the methods I was quickly falling in love with to teach reading made me excited and very sure that teaching was truly where I would dedicate my life. What I did not know was that though these methods were quite effective, my ability to teach would greatly be effected by administrative support and funding. In my career I have come to find that even the best methods can be diluted in effectiveness when teachers are not given the support and resources they need. Specifically, reader’s workshops cannot be successful without administrative support and adequate resources.

What is Reader's Workshop?

In short, reader’s workshops are a set block in a school day where children are guided through a small, whole group mini-lesson about a reading strategy. Children are then excused to an independent reading time where they read books that are leveled and self-selected. A leveled library is a key component to the effectiveness of the reader’s workshop. The role of the teacher during independent reading is to help monitor the progress of individual reader's as well as pull small group for more specific reading strategy or phonemic awareness lesson. After independent reading, students may partner read before returning to the rug for a brief share about how they used the new strategy in their reading that day.

Have you used reader's workshops in your classroom?

See results

The Role of Administrators

Administrators often set a tone within a school. They also have the vital role of deciding what methods the school will use to meet learning goals. Just as important, they have the opportunity to make decisions about how funds will be dispersed. As my teaching has taken me to public, private and nonprofit schools, I have witnessed various types of administrators. When working within Fairfax County, Virginia Public Schools, I worked with a principle that was dedicated to bringing the most effective methods and curriculum to our students. Having reader’s workshops within these setting was easy and ran quite smoothly as we had a large resource of leveled reading books and were given large writing tablets to keep class lessons for review through the year. Alternately, when working with a nonprofit school I encountered an administrator that focused more on parent satisfaction versus student learning. This meant that having a small class library was enough and that large tablets for writing were considered not necessary since the class had a large white board for display. Though I leveled as many books as I could by using the Fountas & Pinnell website, it was not enough to allow for leveled, independent reading. Though I continued to give mini-lessons and have conferences with students, it was impossible to have students reading independently on their own reading level. Assessment of reading progress was not nearly as effective when I had no benchmark books to use to take running records. Though I desperately wanted to bring this method to every classroom I could, lack of administrative support meant that other methods had to be implemented.

Finding Balance

Though every method is not for every student, research has shown what can work for many students. As we learn and grow as professionals, teachers are asked to implement new techniques frequently. Yet, when administrative support and resources are not available, teachers and students lose the opportunity to explore new ways of learning. Reader’s workshops are a wonderful way to not only teach reading on individual levels, but also encourage a love for reading. Without adequate support and funding, this method is impossible to implement. Just as teachers, administrators must also stay on the cutting edge of research. This allows for them to make informed decisions about what methods and curriculum to encourage as well as where their funds would best be allocated. When teachers and administrators are on the same page, students succeed.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • KrystalD profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      dkm27, that sounds beautiful! The teaching of reading is a special calling and I am glad we have both found ways to do it. It is certainly fullfilling to see struggling readers start to get it! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • dkm27 profile image


      7 years ago from Chicago

      I was lucky enough to be the reading workshop teacher. I ran reading workshops for grades 5 through 8. I only worked with seven to eight students during one class period. My room was filled with rugs, pillows, framed pictures, baskets of flowers and more. It looked liked home. My room was a sanctuary for reluctant readers. These were the kids who scored very low in reading comprehension on standardized tests. I taught reading strategies used by good readers. My room and job were

      a little bit of heaven. Glad you can incorporate the same in your classroom.

    • KrystalD profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks Donna!

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 

      7 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on your Hubnugget nomination! Your passion for teaching really shines through in this informative hub. Voted up.

    • KrystalD profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks jeyaramd! As you know, education is important to me. Administrators and teachers must to come together in order to make decisions that are in the best welfare for students. As always, thank you for being so supportive!

      ripplemaker- Administrators are very important in the lives of children! I do feel very passionately about teaching and I am glad you are so dedicated to your role as well. Thank you for reading and sharing a bit about yourself.

      I am excited about the hubnugget nomination and thank you both for the reminders and best wishes! Have a great day!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      As a preschool administrator, I work hand in hand with our Academics Director who makes sure that the our preschoolers have the best multi-sensory method of teaching to reading. Yes by the time the kids graduate from Kindergarten (around 6 yrs old) most of them could already do independent reading. Thank you so much for sharing this. I value your heart as a teacher and honor your passion. Do keep on... :)

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. Click this link to read all about it... Have a blessed and interesting year ahead of you! Much love and light. :)

    • jeyaramd profile image


      7 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      To bring the most effective teaching tools to our children. Many factors must be in play including exceptional administrators who have education at heart. A great principle makes the world of difference to teachers and students. Its such a important role. Thank you for sharing your hub on how to implement reader's workshops.

      Congratulations on your nomination at Please take the time to cast your vote for the other nominees.

    • KrystalD profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks vocalcoach. I have continued to enjoy using thit teaching method and it's an honor to shout it from the roof top!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      So much good information here. I enjoyed learning about "Reader's Workshop." Voting up and thank you!



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)