Classroom Libraries

Do you find yourself wondering how you can set up a classroom library that is the ‘hub’ of activity in your classroom? 

Classroom libraries should be the cornerstone of your classroom.  A place where your students gravitate to, ponder over what they like to read, and bookshop for what they want to take away.  When asked what a classroom library should look like, I find the easiest way to explain this is to say that it should look like the most beautiful and inviting children’s book store that you have ever entered.  After all, not unlike a bookstore, we are also trying to sell our books to our students!

Classroom libraries have a real purpose in a Reading Workshop. The availability of quality literature is key to engaging students during independent reading.  Students should have easy access to books they want to read – as their interests change, so should your library. Classroom libraries evolve throughout the year to reflect the change in your student’s interests.

In this online workshop, we will:

  • Consider the purpose of a classroom library, and why it is so important that it is the cornerstone of your classroom.
  • Look at what goes into the setting up of a classroom library, and how to ensure your students have ownership over their library.
  • Share practical ideas of how you can display books and highlight different titles, authors, and series.
  • Consider what we can do in our classroom to encourage a love of reading in our students, that will stick with them for life.


Where:  Recorded Version Available
Time: 4.00 – 5.15pm
Cost:  $35 + GST

Please note:

A recording of this session will be made available to all participants who register for the workshop.  So if the session time does not suit you can access it and view it in your own time!



Guided Reading Course Work

Most of us, when first starting out, were thrown into the classroom with very little practical experience. (The sink or swim method as we call it!) If you landed in a school that uses a ‘workshop model,’ you may have found yourself searching to find out anything you could about guided reading, so you could hit the ground running.

Over the years you may have cobbled together different bits of information, research and knowledge about running guided reading in the classroom but you may never have had explicit training in the what, why, and how of Guided Reading in its pure form.

Are any of these true for you?

  • You’re wanting reassurance to know you’re ‘doing’ guided reading right.
  • You’re looking for a clear way to structure and plan your guided reading lessons.
  • You’re interested in knowing more about grouping your students based on need as well as level.
  • You’re wondering where independent reading and conferring fit into all this?

If so, then this Guided Reading Course is right for you!

In this online course, you’ll be guided through:

  • Looking at the research behind guided reading and how it fits into a gradual release of responsibility model.
  • Highlighting assessments you can use to help inform grouping for guided reading.
  • Outlining a structure for guided reading lessons (including providing a plan you can take away and use immediately).
  • Viewing guided reading lessons in action.

Note:  This course has been designed to support individual teachers and/or groups of teachers (eg. a PLC group) to work through the lessons over a period of 5 weeks (with a bonus live Q&A session being offered in the 6th week).

Course Topics:

  • Module 1: Building the Foundation
  • Session 2: Assessment
  • Session 3: Text Selection / Lesson Structure
  • Session 4: Before / During / After the lesson
  • Session 5: Planning a Lesson

Modules will consist of:

  • Recorded Presentations
  • PDF Tasks
  • PDF Resources (to be used in your classroom)
  • Additional professional readings

What past participants have said about this PD:

“Excellent summation of the value of reading, how to deliver, strategies, evidence-based content, an excellent presentation by two highly equipped presenters. Most inspiring! I have recommended to our principal that she offer this to all staff in our school so that we may have a consistent language and approach across our school.”

“I think the format (weekly) made the content really accessible and easy to trial in between before building on the knowledge. I also appreciated how much it clarified a lot of the information I had on Guided Reading and gave me a really strong picture of the aims and purpose of G.R. (and running records/small group instruction/etc).”

“It was such an invaluable course. Very clear, insightful, with meaningful knowledge to support the activities which clearly made sense. I can’t wait to implement it into my classroom practice as I now feel that I have the confidence to do so. I would definitely recommend Mardi and Riss’s courses and am looking forward to upskilling my teaching practice by attending more!”

NOTE:  If you have any questions about how this course will work for you, don’t hesitate to get in contact and I can answer all your questions!  [email protected]

Join the mailing list to be notified when registrations open!


Knowing your students and being clear on what you need to teach is what should determine which small group practice you use with your students.

We know that small group instruction is an opportunity to differentiate instruction based on students’ needs. We also know that guided reading is the most commonly used small group practice.

However, we also know it’s not the ONLY small group instruction practice!

Are any of these true for you?

  • Outside of Guided Reading, you’re not sure what other small group practices are effective?
  • You ask yourself what language experience is about?
  • You have students who have similar needs but are reading at different levels so what can you do?
  • You’ve heard about literature circles and/or book clubs but have never seen them in action (or you’ve had a go at implementing them but you’re looking for more support with making them more effective).
  • You’ve been told that reciprocal teaching is the next step on from guided reading but you’re not sure why?
  • You’re wondering what would make you choose one type of small group instruction over another?

If so, then Small Group Instruction Series is the next step for you!

In this online we will:

  • Look at research-based small group instructional practices for reading that have been proven to be effective.
  • Examine five small group practices in detail:
    • Language Experience (Reading)
    • Strategy Groups
    • Literature Circles / Student-Led Book Clubs
    • Reciprocal Teaching
    • Close Reading
  • Outline the important components of each of these practices and provide a structure for planning.
  • View sample lessons and identify the differences between each one.
  • Highlight the assessment you can use to help inform grouping for each of these practices.
  • Provide handouts and resources to assist you with getting started with each of these small group practices.


  • Session 1: Language Experience (Reading)
  • Session 2: Strategy Groups
  • Session 3: Literature Circles / Student-Led Book Clubs
  • Session 4: Reciprocal Teaching
  • Session 5:  Close Reading

Here’s some of the feedback received from previous participants in this course:

I really loved the references to the evidence-based best practices, sharing the history of the practices, and then the really practical way how we can take the information straight back into our classrooms. It was so relevant to what I am wanting to implement and improve on with my own teaching.


Your delivery of information was great! I was constantly thinking about my own practices and how I could take these ideas back into our school while you were talking.


What I love most about all of your PD’s is that they’re practical. I can use what you have shown and bring it directly into the classroom.