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Lifesaving Items for Reading and Writing Workshop

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

Read on to find out

The Lifesaving Products You Need To Buy For Your Reading and Writing Workshop and a few free ones too.

Reading and Writing Workshop move fast! It’s a fact! Have you ever started workshop in the classroom and then looked at the clock and time was up? I know, right! Fast!!

I’ve never started a school year without these 5 items. If my campus did not provide money for these items, —okay, they never did—I considered it money well spent. It organized my workshops from the beginning and kept me (and my students) from going insane.

Here are MY lifesaving items to buy for Reading and Writing Workshop. After reading about the items, don't forget to see the Amazon shopping list I've created for you below.

Cardboard magazine file boxes

These boxes could be used for Writing Workshop. Each student would receive a box to personalize by adding a nameplate to it. This would be used throughout the year for housing their Writer’s Notebooks, Revising and Editing folders and Published Pieces Portfolio. Students kept a pencil and eraser in this box so they were never without one during writing. This was also a place where I could drop in special writing pens or tabs for students to use within Writing Workshop.

Plastic Baskets

These tubs would become Reading baskets for Reading Workshop. Each student would receive a basket to personalize with a nameplate. This would be used throughout the year to house their Reader’s Notebooks, their independent reading books, books “on deck” and a Shared Reading folder. Students kept a pencil and eraser in this basket so they were never without one during Reading Workshop. As the first unit of study to Launch Reader’s Workshop progressed, a pad of post it notes would be added to this tub for students to always have available for stopping and jotting.

Post It Tabs and Skinny Sharpies

Every subject taught had its own notebook and each notebook had sections. Post It Tabs were a natural solution along with skinny Sharpie markers. These tabs and markers made setting up these notebooks the first week of school a cinch!!

Perfect Anchor Chart Paper

Melissa & Doug Easel Pads are the perfect size for creating an anchor chart. They are not too big like the chart tablet that was supplied by the school and they are not too small that the anchor chart cannot be easily seen from parts of the classroom. They were PERFECT!!

Colored Tape

Okay…I know you are thinking, WHAT?! Hear me out… When a frame is created around an anchor chart, it draws the eye in and separates one chart from its neighbor on the wall or bulletin board. So, enter colored tape! I was not the most creative design expert when it came to anchor charting, BUT…when I added colored tape to the edge to create a frame, BAM, great looking and appealing anchor chart that students could use! It is a time saver too! I know it sounds silly but trust me!


Metallic Board

Tip #1: I created a Message Board that was housed by the door of the classroom very similar to one I've pinned to the left. Students moved their name magnet to the IN THE ROOM section as they entered the classroom. It gave me a quick attendance checkpoint. Now, to the lifesaving part for Workshops… The other sections were at the nurse, in the library, with another teacher, bathroom girls and bathroom boys. So, when I was out and about during Workshop, students did not have to come to me to tell me where they were going. They just left their name magnet in the corresponding section and left the room. Now, I will say, the bathroom leaving was a privilege that was added as the structures and expectations of the classroom were formed. That did not just happen the first day of school. Students had to earn the privilege of just leaving the classroom to go to the bathroom without asking me first. However, when that privilege was given, I was never interrupted during a conference or small group again! Heaven!!

Tip #2: Using a metallic board, I created a Writing Process Chart. At the beginning of each writing workshop, students would place their name magnet on the corresponding space to show where they were working in the process. This gave me a quick status of the class to see where my students were working and would guide my conferring decisions for the day.

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Until next time...

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