I use Print Shop to create most all of my signs and posters. It is created by Broderbund and is fairly inexpensive.
I have loved all of my school-year themes, but I think I liked both the space theme and the rock-n-roll theme the best!
You also asked about implementing a reading workshop while also using a basal. I addressed that same question quite a few times in my Reading Woekshop post. I think if you read through the comments that accompany that post, you will find a great deal of information that will help answer your question. Here is a link to that post: http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teaching/2009/10/reading-workshop.html
I hope this helps!
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