Our third grade reading program is centered around the reading components listed below:

Mini-Lesson: 10-15 mins.
Reading workshop will begin with a mini-lesson.  The mini-lesson focuses on a reading strategy.  The reading strategy is practiced by students during their independent reading. 
The following are a few mini-lesson examples:
     •What do "fluent" readers do?
     •"Fix-It" strategies to use while reading
     •Making text to self connections

Activity Time/Independent Reading: 35-40 mins.
Multiple Activities are occuring simultaneously

Read Independently:
  Students have the opportunity to practice the reading strategy taught in the mini-lesson during independent reading. 

Conferring and Coaching:
Ms. Scarborough will meet with small groups of students to practice reading strategies and assess student progress.

Guided Reading:
During guided reading, students read as the teacher guides them through the story.  It is also time for the teacher to observe whether or not students are using the reading strategies taught during shared reading and teacher read alouds.  I pause to ask questions and prompt readers to use multiple reading strategies to decode words and comprehend the text.  Great discussions arise from our guided reading sessions as students learn to make connections to the text, predict what will happen, ask questions as they read, visualize events happening in the story, make inferences, and respond to stories in their reading response journals.

Write in Response Journal (Composition Book):
Gives the students a chance to respond to literature in a more concrete way through daily questions that can be referenced for further understanding.  Documents deeper understanding and allows teacher to identify strengths and needs.

Meet With Reading Partners:
Students are assigned reading buddies to discuss text from a book they chose to read together.

Sharing: 5-10 minutes

What have we learned during independent reading?
Meet as a group to refer back to the mini-lesson
Share independent reading discoveries
Meet in small groups to share how reading life is going

              Other Elements of our Reading Program

Reader's Notebook:

Record books read in reader's log
Keep track of genres read with tally chart form
Keep track of reading buddy discussions and times
Keep records of reading strategies and other helpful resources

Book Boxes:
Students have a book box in which they store the books that they individually selected to read, reader's notebook, post it notes, pencils, and bookmarks.

Book Nooks:
A quiet place for students to read during independent reading (library carpet, two butterfly chairs, right angle cushion, X cushion, pillows, director's chair) rotated daily by the classroom librarian.

Classroom Library:
Our classroom library is at the heart of our reading program.  Books are organized by genre, reading level, and themes into labled baskets.  I am working hard to match students with approriate books for independent reading.  During guided reading sessions and assessments, I am learning the type of reading material that best suits your child.  Students are allowed to choose books from their reading level in the classroom library.  When students are matched with books, they are more successful and they want to read more.  I confer with students during independent reading, help them practice essential reading skills, listen to and discuss stories that the students are reading.  Students will keep a reading log that will help them identify what genres they like to read and selected books that suit them.

Bag O' Books:
Students will choose one or two books from reading workshop to take home to read at night for 15-20 minutes.  A calendar is included for students to write how many minutes they have read and space for a parent signature.

Read Aloud/Book Talk:
At class meetings and during reading workshop mini lessons, the teacher reads and students listen to a variety of texts in different genres. Students respond for comments and brief discussion. Books are chosen based on character building skills and life lessons.  A bullentin board helps keep track of the important connections and is a visual reminder of themes we've read together.

Genre Study:
Many students are unfamiliar with the concept of genres.  During mini-lessons I introduce the genres.  Games such as "Name that Genre" are played.  Genre posters are displayed above the classroom library.  It is necessary to learn the genres as students are required to add a genre code when recording books in their reader's notebook on the reading log.

Reading Log Sheet - List of books read, authors, and genres
Genre Definition Chart - Genres at a glance, fiction and nonfiction

During independent reading conferences, students set genre goals for themselves.  When the class is focusing on a certain genre in reading, I will encourage students to read more books in the specific genre we are studying.  Students use a genre tally sheet and create a genre graph to keep track of the different genres they read each month and throughout the school year.  These graphs and tally sheets are located in the readers notebooks.
Genre Graph
Genre Tally Sheet

Reading Buddies/Book Talk:
In our classroom, students have assigned reading partners with whom they share a common interest in literature.  Partners are assigned after I become familiar with each student's individual reading needs.  Students choose books from the "Double Copy Basket's to individually read and then share with their reading buddy.  Students plan their reading experiences using the reading buddy planning sheet.  As students read, they must also keep track of their thinking on post it notes that they place inside their books.  These notes are used during their reading buddy meetings to refer back to the text and to push students thinking during their discussions.  When students are done with their meeting, they remove the post it notes and attach them to a form in their readers notebook so that I can use the notes for additional assessment.  Partners should come to the meeting prepared with thick questions and connections they have made while reading.  Thick questions are ones that you have to think about and search for the answer.  For example, What character traits describe ______? or How would you feel if ______?.  To help students practice writing thick questions I also include them in my daily read aloud.  Each day after I read a chapter aloud from the class novel, I invite the students to write a thick question on an index card and add it to the thick question card holder.  I pick one thick question to ask the class for discussion before I begin reading the next day. 

Interactive Literacy Bulletin Boards:

Below are examples of classroom displays that celebrate reading and encourage students to take an active role in our reading community. 
Check back at a later date for links - still a work in progress:

Reader's Choice: Would you recommend this book to others?
Thick vs. Thin Questions
Theme Charts
Writing Status Board
Genre Bulletin Board
Book Recommendation

Adapted from Mrs. Newingham's Rockin' Third Grade Class