Must-Haves for Reader's & Writer's Workshop!

Hi! I am linking up with Lindsay from My Life as a Third Grade Teacher for her first linky party (and it's a good one!)...
This is something I love to think about--and talk about! And make things for! 

Here are some of the most important materials I need for my students in both workshops... 

A classroom library featuring a wide selection of reading.

Since I teach newcomer ELL students in grades 4 and 5, I really need a variety of texts to reach all learners in my classroom...from those just learning to read for the first time to the students reading closer to grade level.
I like to have several different options for my students. So we have a leveled section, a genre section, and a section of books sorted by subject (nonfiction topics, such as "marine life" and "sports").

Storage for Reading Materials

I know I just talked about our Reading Drawers the other day, so I won't go on about them again. I'm really looking forward to using them this year!
 Reading Strategies on Display

Long before I was working with an actual Reader's Workshop model, I was reading and practicing away at the wonderful strategies in The CAFE Book. Since then, I've been tweaking and adapting it a bit to fit the needs of my students and to work within our Reader's Workshop. Having those reading strategies visible makes such a difference!
Space for Anchor Charts
Ok, it would probably make more sense to say the anchor charts themselves, but I don't have any yet since school hasn't started. I save a huge bulletin board space in my classroom for our anchor charts (this goes for Writer's Workshop as well).
Comfortable Reading Nooks

I was really fortunate to have received a huge carpet featuring the flags of the world from Donors Choose. It is the center of the classroom and a favorite place to read.

I also like to have a couple of small carpets and pillows in different areas, so the students can have space throughout the room when reading independently.

(Those pillows have pretty much had it but I am in love with my new brightly-colored chevron carpets!!! Thanks Alisha and Ginger!!)

Reader's and Writer's Binders

We use these binders are for our Reader's Responses, writing pieces, reading logs, graphic organizers, and more. For me, these are some of the most important tools for both workshops.

I'm in the process of setting these up as we speak (well, we're not really talking but you know what I mean!). Last year, I used separate binders for the two workshops, but I am merging them into one binder for this year's class.
I'm working on some additional sections for them this year--more to come on that later! 

And that's about it! What are some of your must-haves for Reader's and Writer's Workshop? Thanks Lindsay, for a wonderful linky party!!


  1. Great ideas, thanks! I absolutely adore your Alphabet, too!

    Colleen Patton
    Mrs. Patton’s Patch

  2. Loving that carpet!! ;) Can't wait to see the finished genre cards! I bet they are fab! =) I am going to be adding some fun new things I made to my blog tonight! YAY! I finally feel like I'm making progress!

    Ginger Snaps

  3. I'm combining my reading and writer's notebooks into one literacy binder this year too. I can't wait to see what you come up with. I'm one of your newer followers. :)

    The Teaching Thief

  4. Oh my goodness- I want to be a kid in your class! Everything looks sosososo wonderful and I can't wait to see more about your binders- that's already on the list for next year, I think :)

    3rd Grade Thoughts

  5. So excited that you linked up! Thank you! Love your ideas. I wish I was as organized as you are!

  6. I love the carpet!! I am running to get one. Can't wait to see more pictures. My school ran out of bulletin paper, so I am going to buy some over the weekend. I am e-mailing pictures as soon as I can.

  7. Ah that carpet! I've seen it everywhere!!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  8. I too am merging my reading and writing binders! I can't wait to see what you have planned:)

    Tonya’s Treats for Teachers

  9. I think I need to stop heart is beating a 1,000,000 beats a minute...I haven't been into my classroom yet, and I just don't know if I can live up to your cuteness!!! ;)

    Loving it all..and I have that beloved carpet now too! Mwwwwah!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  10. What a great idea to merge reading and writing workshop together in one binder. I also like your book drawer idea. I will have to remember that one.

    I also have the chevron carpet. I just love the colors.

    Ms. Fiorini’s Stadium

  11. Wonderful ideas, Kristrn. I love the rug:)

  12. Oh you terrible iPad... I clearly know how to spell your name. I swear :)
    Sorry, Kristen.

  13. Your room looks fantastic! So glad you found the fabulous rug!

  14. Hi Kristen! I am trying to make a CRAFT board but mine is using different letters. "I CAN!" so I can't use your letters. When you bought the circles were you able to easily put letters on them?

    1. Yup, I just used powerpoint and created a textbox over the circle. :)

  15. Oh my goodness Kristen!! I have the SAME rug!! I am doing a black/neon theme this year, and I got the rug last week at Big Lots!! Ha!! Too funny!! Your picture taking skills make it look so cute and cozy!

    Young Teacher Love 5th Grade Blog

  16. Kristen..Everything looks amazing! I've been thinking about purchasing the draws, they look so nice and neat!

  17. Kristen... that rug! Yes, I ran to Big Lots today and.,,got it! Not only that, but by coincidence, it was Teacher Discount Day, so it was 10% off. Not a deep discount, but something anyway- $17.10 {totally worth it}.

    Love your bright and colorful room! I don't use a specific "theme", but I use bright and colorful in my classroom, too!

    primary practice

  18. Kristen I had to go and buy that rug immediately! I am a first year teacher and I was able to get so many ideas and organization tricks from your blog! Also, I am only teaching 4th grade writing and reading so many of these ideas will be put into use!! Thanks again!!!


    1. Carmen, your comment made me so happy, thank you!! I'm so glad some of it could be a help and may you have a WONDERFUL first year!!!

  19. I shared your blog with my colleagues and we all just love your CRAFT board and are planning to use your idea with our students. Thank you so much for sharing all of your ideas!


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