Quiet Literacy: It’s all about the spot

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SWBAT understand the rules and routines of Reader's Workshop and experience how a comfortable spot and the right materials will help them focus and enjoy independent reading time.

Big Idea

The perfect spot - how giving kids choice and freedom will set the foundation for a successful year of Reader's Workshop


10 minutes

Begin by posing the following question to your students: If you had a secret hideout where you could escape from the world for just a short time, what would it look like? What would it sound like? What would it feel like? Today, you will have a chance to find a place like that within our own classroom. A place that allows you to escape from our world and join the book world.

Connection - Last year in 2nd grade, you became familiar with Reader's Workshop and each year it will look and sound and feel a bit different.

Teaching Point - Today, you will learn about what Reader's Workshop looks like and sounds like in 3rd grade. I like for kids to have lots of choices so you can really enjoy reading time. First, you get to choose the books you want to read. We have hundreds of books in our classroom library that you can read throughout the year and today you get to pick out 5 to keep in your personal browsing box. Next, you get to choose where you sit. I like to curl up in a quiet spot when I read and I'm guessing you like to as well. So you can sit at your desk, under your desk, on the counter, lay on the floor, or use one of our cozy book nooks. The only rules about where you sit are that you must be arms-length apart from anyone else so you won't be tempted to talk and that you must be visible to the teacher. To prepare for independent reading time each day, I will give you time to pick out books, pick your spot and gather materials, and use the bathroom or get a drink. Usually, this "Prep Time" will be 5 minutes but since it is the first day of school, I will give you 10 minutes to explore the library and get ready. Use the Prep Time wisely because once I do our countdown to silence, I expect that you will be in your cozy reading spot with your browsing box, silently enjoying a good book. If you finish your first book, you have 4 more to choose from until independent reading is over. You may not get up to get different books.  What questions do you have so far? 

Active Engagement - I would like you to take 2 minutes of quiet thinking time to remember what you have learned about our Reader's Workshop routine (pause for 2 minutes). Now turn and talk with your neighbor to tell them what steps you need to take during our Prep Time (allow students time to turn and talk, then call on students to share until all of the steps have been reviewed.)

Link to Ongoing Work -  Let's give this a try today. When Prep Time begins, feel free to explore the library and choose 5 books to fill your browsing box.  Choose your spot, which should be arms-length away from anyone else and visible to the teacher. Use the bathroom or get a drink so you will not need to get out of your spot and disturb your reading. Be ready to enjoy your book once the countdown to silence begins. You have 10 minutes. I will be looking for students that are following our rules and routines and those students might earn a reward. 

Guided Practice

15 minutes

(Once you've done the countdown to silence - 5,4,3,2,1 SILENCE- students should be reading silently in their spots. To ensure proper behavior, move around the classroom to monitor the students. Quietly praise or reward students that are meeting expectations and make adjustments for students that could do better. Sometimes moving a student's reading spot is helpful or asking them to tell you about their book reminds them to stay focused.)


5 minutes

(Once independent reading time is over, instruct students to put their book nooks and browsing boxes away and gather at the carpet.)  Now that we've completed our first day of Reader's Workshop, let's talk about some things that went well and some things we can work on next time. (Create a T-chart with the class that can be displayed in the classroom). Tomorrow, we will be discussing ways to take good care of our classroom library.