I'm a big believer in student choice, and this comes into play in a few different areas in my class when it comes to reading. First, the students need to be able to choose books that are a "good fit" for them.
|Student choosing a book from the hundreds in my room!|
So, step 1: Build that library!
I have a HUGE classroom library, and quite frankly am kind of a snob when it comes to classroom libraries. When I walk into a classroom and see that an experienced teacher has one little shelf of books I have to admit that I shake my head a little bit to myself and wag my finger at them (in my mind only, of course.) There are lots of ways to get books for your room if you're willing to a) spend a little money and/or b) put a little work into it.
I yard sale, go to Goodwill (LOTS of cheap books there!), and bargain bin hunt in other stores of course, but one thing I do to build my library is use Scholastic Book Clubs in my class. It always amazes me when I meet a teacher who doesn't do this. I just can't help but wonder "Why NOT?!" I know some of you are reading this and thinking, "Everyone knows about Scholastic Book Clubs." But they don't. I meet a few teachers every year who don't. And I know a LOT of teachers who know about them, but don't use them...(finger wag)
|Some of those books!|
|More of those books!|
|Even more books!|
|New readers might not have seen my|
"read bead" post about reading through
the genres. Go check it out!
We use MAP testing in my district, which provides me with the students' lexile level. The kids know their own Zones of Proximal Development, so they begin their search in that range of books. Once a kid has narrowed their search to "Mystery Books in a 600-700 lexile range" or "Sci-fi Graphic Novels around 500" it's easy for them to make a choice. Kids make these choices in their spare time, not during reading time. This is why I insist they have that queue of books I mentioned. Read to Self is NOT choose-a-book time.
My big challenge to tackle this summer involves all those books pictured above. Those are just the books I have taking up space in the closets of the spare bedrooms at my house. I taught Kindergarten through 2nd grade for 10 years before I moved to 5th 2 years ago. Most of my picture books and low level chapter books didn't translate to 5th, but now that I am moving to 3rd/4th (!!!) I need to go through all of them (and the ones in my classroom) and create my new classroom library and reorganize it all! Waaaaaah!
Alright, random tip of the day. We keep a little magnetic spice jar on our kitchen magnet board to save boxtops in. When I accrue a decent amount, I take them in to school!
If you stuck around to the end of this long-winded post, you're a saint! Now if you have the stamina go and read some of the other great posts in the linky!
Tunes Tuesday rocked by the way! Check out all the links in my previous post if you haven't already! It was such a success, and due to a few people requesting it, I'll be doing it again one day! Be on the look out!