I was truly nervous about reading workshop this week. I made the decision this year to try out independent reading spots. For years now independent reading has involved the kids sitting at their desks. It felt controlled and manageable. However, there were issues. Kids are close to one another at their tables, and they can easily distract one another. Also, it is not necessarily how everyone likes to read. I, personally, prefer to curl up on my couch.
So, this year, I am giving independent spots a try! I started by taking photos of enough spots in my classroom for every student. I still need to manage and control things, for better or worse, so I figured this would help alleviate any drama over who sits where. I then clipped student names to each spot using clothespins to indicate their reading spots. Here are some photos of my charts:
I do have some students sitting at tables, simply because I do not have enough places around the room to avoid it. In order to manage this, I only have one student per table (usually the tables seat four). I put a different colored sticker at each reading spot to differentiate the spots on the chart and spread the kids out.
I also decided not to keep all the pillows and special chairs out all the time. They are only for independent reading time. So, when my kids get ready for reading workshop, they get their book bags and go to their designated spot. If they happen to have a pillow or special seat, they get it out as well.
Now my kids are spread out, comfortable, and calm. It was LOVELY today! I know there will be a honeymoon period, but I was so impressed with how the room sounded and looked today. My little ones were thoroughly engaged with their books, and seemingly happy to have a little space and room to enjoy them. This is how they looked (faces have been blurred):
Cross your fingers for me that this keeps up! What does independent reading look like in your room? Where do your students read?