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Implementing the Workshop Model in Reading, Writing, Math, and Science (4-8)

Are you wondering what the word workshop has to do with reading, writing, mathematics, and science? After all, a workshop is typically a messy place where people come to imagine, apply, and create. The fact of the matter is that the whole process of teaching and learning can and should become “messy,” as students grapple with rigorous concepts and ideas within the confines of a predictable, motivating, and engaging routine. This online course is designed for teachers in grades 4-8 who want to learn how to better engage their students as they examine and investigate a variety of interesting and engaging concepts and activities on a daily basis using the workshop model. The focus of the course is on helping teachers implement a workshop model for reading, writing, math, and science that includes a mini-lesson, student-directed independent work (while the teacher meets with small groups or conferences), and sharing. Some of the additional highlighted topics include backwards planning and organization, goal setting, project-based learning through the use of STEM activities, and tapping into students’ natural curiosity using makerspaces, all under the auspices of a rigorous, supportive, and engaging classroom. This course is worth 3 â…“ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"The content and resources from this course are excellent. I can review material to use in my everyday teaching practice." - Shavern Paul-Fraser


Enrollment Options

Register] Course Registration Only $112 with the discount

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $284


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

Reading Workshop 2.0: Supporting Readers in the Digital Age” by Frank Serafini

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 11T02

UCSD Course Number: EDUC40221

Unit One

  • The Workshop Model
  • Goal Setting in the Workshop Model
  • Begin at the End: Backwards Planning and Organization
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • Reading Workshop
  • Guided Reading, Conferring, and Strategy Groups for Reading
  • Independent Reading
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Writing Workshop
  • Independent Writing and Sharing
  • Conferring and Strategy Groups for Writing
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3

Unit Four

  • Math Workshop
  • Independent Work Time in the Math Workshop
  • Organization within the Math Workshop Format
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Science Workshop
  • Project-Based Learning Through the Use of STEM Activities
  • Tapping into Students' Natural Curiosity Using Makerspaces
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Classroom Management in the Workshop Model
  • Teacher and Student Responsibilities in the Workshop Model
  • Student Motivation and Engagement
  • Assignment #4: Create a motivating and engaging activity for each of the four workshops (reading, writing, math, and science)
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)