No Series: Rick's Reading Workshop: One on One

Rick's Reading Workshop: One on One

Lesson Objective: Personalize reading instruction for differing abilities
Grade 5 / Reading / Differentiation


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does "envisioning" help students understand the story?
  2. What methods are used to improve comprehension, vocabulary and reading speed?
  3. Why is reading stamina so important to a student's success?


  • Private message to Zakiya Ivey

One concept I agreed with was informally meeting with students as they read. Previously, I would've decided to just let students read without interruption but I've found some benefits from minimal interruptions. When understanding students' struggles, the teacher has the opportunity to intervene because the student will most likely be struggling. If the teacher knows a student struggles with comprehension, they can come alongside them for 2-3 minutes and ask questions to guide their reading. These little interventions can develop routines and skills that students can use when they're by themselves.

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  • Private message to Micayla Sullivan

I thought Mr. Kleine using differentiation with his students during their reader's workshop was a great use of the time and a great way to implement differentiation to students who need targeted differentiated instruction and for the entire class to receive clarification during this independent reading time. It was amazing to me at how much progress Mr. Kleine made with the three students who were shown in the video in just a short amount of time. Oftentimes during independent reading, I have witnessed many teachers completing grading, preparing for the next lesson to teach, or even sad to say, on Facebook! This would be such an essential time and great use of time to work one to one with students who need individualized assistance instead of doing things that could be done before or after the school day. I also thought the rapport Mr. Kleine built with his students was a great example of how teachers should build community with their students. I also thought it was reassuring and reinforcing for the students to hear the positives, the negatives, and the positives they were committing during the reader's workshop. I feel like Mr. Kleine doing this sandwiched in the negatives or things that needed to be worked on with positive things the students were doing within their reading. I also found it interesting when Mr. Kleine spoke about how he had to teach his students how to read while conversations were occurring. I can imagine trying to read while a conversation happening right next to me would be super challenging to focus on what I am reading and have learned. I feel like all children and adults would struggle with having to stay focused on reading what is in front of them and not letting conversations become distracting. I loved that Mr. Kleine used reading logs with his students as they completed the reading workshop. I think students documenting this time is crucial for them to see how much time they are spending on reading and how much progress they continue to make. I think in implementing reader's workshop and reading logs into my future classroom, I would not only have my students document the time we spent but also include what they worked on during this independent reading time and also what they worked with me on one to one as they received differentiated learning opportunities together. I did like what Mr. Kleine had to say in closing that he wants students to enjoy reading so he must make a habit of showing and encouraging students to read as he does. I definitely will encourage reading and my love for reading within my future classrooms.  

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  • Private message to Zakiya Ivey

I really enjoyed reading your thorough response. I like how you pointed out the teacher's attention to building rapport and positive relationships with his students. He knew exactly what each student needed and catered for his intervention to each individual. I can't wait to build positive relationships with my students and make sure that there are trust and respect between each individual and myself. 

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  • Private message to Reagan VanKoevering

This video was filled with great examples of how to use reading workshops in the classroom, especially with implementing differentiation. I loved how he met with every student, and with each student, he knew exactly what to work on with them, like the student who struggled with reading speed. I really like how he started out by asking general questions so that his students understood what it was like to have people talking while they read. This can be something that even experienced readers can struggle with and it is a great way to get students passed that struggle. I hope to include differentiation into my classroom in the way that he was able to in his!

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  • Private message to Micayla Sullivan


I thought Mr. Kleine did an excellent job as well creating differentiated learning opportunities for his students while they independently read. I was amazed at how much progress he made with the three students he worked within the video within a short amount of time. I also thought it was interesting that he had to instruct his students on how to independently read while conversations are going on because I imagine this is a struggle for most children and adults as well. Who knew that differentiation could be incorporated in a simple activity such as independent reading. I also thought it was a great idea that Mr. Kleine had his students record in their reading logs how much time they spent reading during independent reading. I also think it would be a great idea for when the students record their time that they also write what it was they worked on independently and with Mr. Kleine as well if they received one to one support with him. My hope too is to incorporate individual and group differentiation opportunities with my students as often as possible even if it is in simple activities such as independent reading. 

Great response, Reagan! - Micayla Sullivan 

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  • Private message to Hope VanSolkema

I really enjoyed watching this video, and I can see myself using this reading workshop idea in my future classroom. I liked the idea of starting off by asking students general questions to get everyone used to people talking when they are reading. I know this is something I struggle with myself. I also liked how students were reading aloud so they could get help and feedback with their reading. The last part of this video that I liked was having students fill out a reading log. I think that could be something that teachers could have students look back on at the end of the year to see how much they have improved.

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  • Private message to Reagan VanKoevering

I also really enjoyed watching this video and would love to implement something like this in my future classroom. I love the idea he brought up about asking general questions while students read because I too struggle with reading if people are talking. It is a great thing to be able to build in a reader. I agree that the last part of the video and the reading log is a such a great idea especially with what you brought up about allowing them to have something to look back on!

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  • Private message to Alyssa Mulligan

This video is a great example of how to conduct reader's workshops, especially at a younger age. I hope to implement something like this into my future classroom, especially how he made sure to talk to every reader, but especially work with struggling readers. We also saw several examples of how he differentiated for each student. For example, he worked with a student who had trouble with his speed while reading, so he had him try to follow his finger as he read and try to keep up with that same speed. I hope to be able to differentiate like this in my classroom which will hopefully make my students like reading a little bit more.

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  • Private message to Hope VanSolkema

I also really enjoyed watching how passionate this teacher was about this reading workshop. He took the time to meet with every reader in the class and was able to work with each reader according to what they were struggling with. I am excited to use this strategy in my classroom someday, and I'm glad you are too!

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

    Rick: The format for Reader's Workshop is

    Classroom Close Up: Rick's Reading Workshop:
    One on One with Rick Kleine

    Rick: The format for Reader's Workshop is all kids are reading books at their level. And, they read silently, and that's a time for me to confer with kids and actually do real, individual teaching with everyone. The differentiation is magnificent. I can really focus in on one kid"

    Student: "She made a face, at least that's why my parents, the, at least that's what my parents say."

    Rick: "When he says that, what does, what's it mean 'He made a face.'?"

    It tooks some training at the beginning of the year, 'cause I'm gonna be talking with kids right next to you, as a reader. And, to be able to bury yourself that deeply in the story so that my conversation with the kid right next to you isn't gonna bother you, took some work, but we did that work. And, um, I practice going around just asking general quesitons, nothing about reading, just getting them used to what it would sound like to have somebody talking right next to you.

    Student: " '"Do you know why I'm doing this?" she asked. "Can I get back to you on that?" I said. "Okay, wise kid. That's enough."' "

    Rick: "What's that word?"

    Student: "I mean guy."

    Rick: "Wise guy. Do you know what a wise guy is? You ever heard that phrase? Or the word smart alek?"

    Student: "Yeah."

    Rick: "What do they mean?"

    Student: "Like, you think you're too smart."

    Rick: "Yep, that's a wise guy."

    Student: "Oh."

    Rick: "That's what she's calling Joey, saying 'Ok, wise guy. That's enough smart talk for one day.' She doesn't like it that he's saying things like that. 'Cause she says 'Do you know why I'm doing this?' And, that's a serious question. And, he says 'Can I get back to you on that?' He's being a smart alek. And, that's where your theory can start. See if he stays like that, as you keep reading. OK? Carry on."

    So there's a lot of lessons early on in the year about envisioning, that when you're reading you're creating this movie in your mind, and that sometimes that movie starts to get blurry, and that threre are a lot of strategies that you can use to get your movie back in focus.

    "I want to tell you something about when authors write stories for kids or for adults, when they use words that they think nobody will know, scientific words, "

    Student: "Oh yeah. It says it right here."

    Rick: "They'll tell you right afterwards, yeah. Keep reading and see if you understand it."

    Student: "You want me to read from here?"
    Rick: "Yeah. Yeah."

    Student: "I'm number one on the waiting list for the next open spot. Ben suffered from narcoply."

    Rick: "OK, break it up. Find the chunks."

    Student: "Nar-o"

    Rick: "Good."

    Student: "ol-spy."

    Rick: "Get this part right here. You got it, great. Nar-co..."

    Student: "lep-sy."

    Rick: "Yeah."

    Student: "Narcolepsy."

    Rick: "Perfect. Say it all together."

    Student: "Narcolepsy."

    Rick: "There it is."

    Student: "A condition, a condition which, which can make me, make him fall asleep suddenly at any hour of the day or night."

    Rick: "So, what's narcolepsy?"

    Student: "It's like, it's like he can fall asleep any time."

    Rick: "Yeah. You know who else had that?"

    Student: "Who?"

    Rick: "Harriet Tubman."

    Student: "Oh, she did?"

    Rick: "Yeah, which is why it made it extra dangerous for her to go try to free slaves."

    For some kids, It's a fluency problem, you know, their comprehension is just fine, but they're, they're not reading fast enough.

    "Now, remember one of the things that we were working on was your speed. So, I'm going to put my finger on the words, and I want you to try and keep up with my finger. Let' see how fast you can go. OK. Ready? Go."

    Student: "But she fixed up Fudge's bedroom for our guests. She put fancy sheets and a brand new blanket on the hide-a-bed. Before he was born, we watched TV in there, and lots of times, Grandma slept over in the hide-a-bed. Now, she, now we watch TV right in the living room and Grandma doesn't sleep over very often."

    Rick: "Good! Very good! OK. I want you to work on making your eyes do that too. OK? Good job, carry on."

    Student: "OK."

    Rick: Every kid has a reading log that they keep track of their reading in.

    "OK. Log your reading please."

    And, they keep track of the pages they read, how much time they spent reading,

    "35 minutes"

    slowly working towards longer and longer periods of reading. One thing that that being a good reader means is having stamina, being able to keep at something for a long time, especially as they're reading a lot of non-fiction, as they will soon. Stamina becomes a real issue. Can you stay on the reading when it's every line is something you've got to learn? Every line's going to be something you've got to process. So that's something that they're working towards all year.

    "So, kids today, and everyday that you're reading, fiction book, non-fiction book, will you try to build theories about what you understand about a story, either a character or what the story's about."

    I love reading, and I do think that's contagious. I think when you bring energy to any subject, anything you love to teach, kids will love it too.

    Student: "I like reading. Good book, like, stick with you for a long time."

School Details

Jefferson Elementary School
1400 Ada Street
Berkeley CA 94702
Population: 422

Data Provided By:



Rick Kleine
English Language Arts Math / 5 / Teacher


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