Rick's Reading Workshop: Silent Reading
Lesson Objective: Tailor individual tasks for students with differing abilities
Grade 5 / Reading / Differentiation

Thought starters

  1. When is it most appropriate to pair students with differing abilities?
  2. How does Rick structure this?
  3. In what ways is this individualized time with students important?
  4. How does Rick make tracking individual goals both sustainable and manageable?
Loved this! I really liked your notebook. I have always done a binder and it's so big and bulky. The notebook is a great compromise. Do you tab the students names for easy reference? If so, how many pages do you reserve for each child?
Recommended (2)
Excellent! I liked your comment about silent reading. A quiet classroom is not necessarily a learning classroom. Your student has permission to quietly ask another student for help and the class can still keep reading.
Recommended (0)
I'm very curious about the finished book procedure and how all those things work in. It says they should do the first 3 parts TOGETHER, but aren't they all reading different books? So how does that work? Also, I would love to see the literature response that you use and to know more about how they share out/present the books they have finished reading!
Recommended (0)
I did tab the notebook using different colors to show levels of readers--that way I could make sure to meet with struggling readers more often. I divided up the pages equally for the number of students I had that year--it works out to be about 3 pages per kid. I still have much to learn about the Reading Workshop, but so far I have had kids share their finished books in several ways: 1) They have book talks with their reading partners daily; 2) They post a review of the book (short summary of the main plot and a recommendation for others) on our recommended reading wall (a la book store's recommendation shelves); 3) We hold a Readers' Chair that works like Authors' Chair in writing where kids get to show off a book they've finished and try to persuade others to read it too! I'm not sure what you meant by the finished book procedure????
Recommended (0)
Hi Rick, From a fourth grade teacher, I wanted to know if you had any suggestions for specific guided reading mini-lessons or successful strategies that would help students that are below grade level in reading to progress to fourth grade texts?
Recommended (0)


  • Classroom Close Up: Rick's Reading Workshop: Silent Reading with Rick Kleine

    Rick: Reader's Workshop has a format of

    Classroom Close Up: Rick's Reading Workshop: Silent Reading with Rick Kleine

    Rick: Reader's Workshop has a format of kids choosing books that are at their level and reading silently. I don't like to think of it as silent because silence implies that it's, that it's just quiet, and I feel like there's this whirring going on in their heads. As they're reading, I hear noises and things that tell me that brain activity is happening. To me, that's not so silent. But, the real purpose of it is so that I can confer with kids, so that I can really focus in on one kid and give them some kind of skill work or some kind of comprehension work for the day, that they need to become a better reader.

    Today's lesson was about growing theories, about characters and about the story.

    "See what kind of theories you can grow right away about your characters, OK? Do you have any theory going so far? About any of the characters? You should. Already you should know something about them."

    Student: "It's Ramona that's really, like, she's making it into a disaster."

    Rick: "Everything turns out to be a disaster, OK. That's a great theory. Let's see if that theory stays the same or if something happens to make it change. OK? Keep reading."

    Student: " 'She wanted to be a fourth grade teacher and..."

    Rick: I have a student who is not monitoring her reading well. So, part of her goal is to notice when she doesn't understand words, individual words. I had her practice reading to me, and finding, and looking for places that she didn't understand words, so she could actually do it right in front of me."

    Student: " 'Ramona, holding her mouth, a mouth organ in her teeth, was riding around the living room on her tricycle. Since she needed both hands to steer the tricycle, she could blow in and out on only one note."

    Rick: "Wait. What is she blowing in and out on?"

    Student: "She can only ride on, ride her tricycle with two hands,"

    Rick: "Yeah."

    Student: "It might be, like, hard for her. So, she's like, taking deep breaths."

    Rick: "What does she have in her mouth?"

    Student: "Oh, she have like a teeth organ."

    Rick: "Do you know what that is?"

    Student: 'No."

    Rick: "It's a harmonica."

    Student: "Oh, a harmonica."

    Rick: "When you read things like that, that's when I want you to talk to Helen, and ask her, OK? 'Cause you know what a harmonica is."

    So, I've buddied her up with someone who has a very good vocabulary so that she can just quickly ask "What, what's this word mean?" in a real non-thretening way, hopefully getting her to build more vocabulary, but moslty, it's not really about vocabulary, It's more about understanding the story in better detail.

    Student: " 'A secret grandmother always said. Said.' "

    Rick: "OK, were there any words in there you didn't know?"

    Student: "Um... concealed."

    Rick: "What should we do?"

    Student: "Ask Helen."

    Rick: "Do it."

    Student: "Helen, what does conceal mean?"

    Helen: "Conceal?"

    Students: "Yeah."

    Helen: "To like, hidden."

    Student: "Hidden?"

    Helen: "Like, like if you hide something, it's conceled.

    Student: "Thank you."

    Rick: "Now, read it with that word , Insted of concealed, say hide."

    Student: " 'Hide a not as you would a secret.' Yeah, makes sense."

    Rick: "Yeah, it makes more sense, huh? Good. Good. Don't pass by those words, OK? I want yo asking Helen. She won't mind. Alright?"

    Student: "Alright."

    Rick: "Alright. Carry on."

    I have a notebook that I keep track of all the goals that I'm working with on each student, so that the next time I conference the next day, I can quickly go over it and listen to them read and see "Are you really doing what I asked you to do?"

    I'm keeping track of what they need to become a better reader, one by one.

    The best part about Reading Workshop is that I really feel like I'm teaching every kid, every day.

School Details

Jefferson Elementary School
1400 Ada Street
Berkeley CA 94702
Population: 392

Data Provided By:



Rick Kleine
English Language Arts Math / 5 / Teacher



All Grades / All Subjects / Tch Tools

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture