Reader's workshop - an effective teaching model in a differentiated classroom

Children come to school with a range of literacy experiences and
abilities and it becomes challenging for the teachers to tailor the
lessons to reach everyone in the classroom. As a way out of the
situation, the teachers usually design their lessons to meet the needs
of an average learner, and this leads to leave advanced and struggling
learners behind. Teachers who teach reading are challenged with
administering a grade-level curriculum, usually via a text book, to a
group of multi-leveled learners. Reader’s workshop is a teaching
model which allows students to engage in authentic reading
experiences. It is a way to structure a literacy block during the school
day that allows for differentiation and a high level of student
engagement in the process of learning to read. During Reader’s
workshop, students read independently and with partners at their
independent reading levels while the teacher confers with students
and leads small groups. During conferences, the teacher differentiates
instruction and designs lessons to meet individual student needs. This
literature review examines what the workshop approach to teaching
is about and what kind of impact Reader’s workshop has on a primary
classroom. The purpose of this review is to define “Reader’s workshop”,
summarize the principles the workshop values, talk about the
components of Reader’s Workshop, as well as discuss the roles of both
teacher and students in the Readers’ Workshop framework. Benefits
and challenges of Reader’s workshop are also presented in this
review. Research for this review has been gathered from scholarly
articles and books about literacy and Reader’s Workshop. Choice, time
and flexibility have been found as key elements in an effective
Reader’s workshop. The benefits of Reader’s workshop in a primary
classroom outweigh the challenges of implementing such a strategy.
The article includes recommendations for conducting Reader’s
Workshop successfully in the classroom, as well as points out the
limitations of the research in this field.

Keywords: Workshop, flexibility, time, choice, differentiation

Azerbaijan Journal of Educational Studies is an academic journal founded by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The journal publishes original articles in the following areas of research: education management; educational philosophy and educational theory; education policy; curriculum; educational technologies; pedagogy; sociology of education; history of education; special education; teacher training; assessment, etc. The journal also includes reviews of books on education published in local and foreign publications.
The journal is among the publications recommended by the Supreme Attestation Commission under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.