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reading workshop routines

Whenever I thought about the first week of reading workshop, I felt so overwhelmed! 🥺

        What should I teach first? 
        How do I get the kids into a routine? 
        When do I give them partners? 
        Where should they sit?

My mind was spinning! If you’re feeling overwhelmed too, it’s okay! You can set up routines and expectations that will help you make the most of reading workshop all year!

The best part is… I am sharing my exact lesson plans with you so you can see exactly how the first week of reading workshop looks in my classroom!

The first week of school to all about getting “Ready to Read.” I use this time to teach exactly what reading workshop looks like in our classroom. Even if my kids are familiar with reading workshop, it’s a great way to introduce your expectations and routines. These lessons are a MUST if you have kids who have not been part of a workshop model before!

Here are the first week of reading workshop lessons I cover:

  • Readers choose a smart spot to read their books
  • Readers do their best to always do real reading
  • Readers share their books with partners
  • Readers use mats to plan and track their reading
  • Readers know that reading is important

Building enthusiasm and excitement for reading is just as important as the lessons! Squeezing lots of fun activities into the week so kids see how much fun reading can be! This is also the perfect time to learn about your new readers!

Our absolute favorite read aloud for the week is Madeline Finn and the Library Dog. You can read it or watch it on youtube. Madeline Finn is a very reluctant reader who adamantly says she doesn’t like to read. When she meets Bonnie, a dog at the library, everything changes! Kids love the surprise ending and sweet characters!


First Week of Reading Workshop Activities

This week is all about fun, establishing routines, and building reading stamina. Here are some of our favorite activities:

  • Sort Real Reading and Fake Reading
    • This makes your expectations loud and clear! You can easily make cards or click here to save time. 
behavior sort class poster
  • Practice using Reading Mats
    • The inside of these folders are divided. One side is for stacking books to get started, and the other is for books that have been read. 
    •  In my lesson connection, I tell a story about going to yoga class without a yoga mat. I explain that even yoga teachers and experts use a mat to help them do their best. Readers can use reading mats to help them do their best!
reading mat
  • Make your own Reading Pup
    • Kids use a template and a paper cup to make their own reading companion.
    • These cuties go home at the end of the week to encourage reading at home too!
reading workshop puppy craft
  • Partner FUN
    • Partners work together on cooperative activities, like making posters, and get to know each other as readers.
    • Begin to establish a community of readers who help each other!
    • You might be able to assign permanent partners or just use temporary partners.
partner reading
  • Graph It!
    • Work together to set goals and class progress. You could also make personal goals too!
reading stamina graph
  • Reading Rewards
    • Celebrate your first week of reading workshop! We enjoy a reading themed snack while we read and take home special certificates!


Whether you’re starting reading workshop for the first time or a veteran looking for a tried and true way to roll it out this year, you can download all of my lesson plans for the first week here or by clicking on the image below. 

Your students are lucky to have a teacher who works so hard to build establish routines that will make everyone successful this year! If you have more ideas about starting reading workshop, please share them in comments!

Emily Yerty

Emily Yerty

I’m a teacher who believes in creating a classroom kids love and activities that keep them engaged all day!

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