Now… I know most teachers LOVE books, and I’m one of them! BUT I didn’t want ALLLLL of my books to be an overwhelming endeavor for my kiddos, so I have a bit of my library kind of spread across my room. I think it makes it more approachable for the kids and also it helps with organization/distribution of books.
I’m sure you’ve all had a group of kids trying to put books back, check out possible new selections and just overall chaos in front of your library. Wellllll… I’ve literally watched this happened and in my head the tires screeched and I thought, man I NEED to do better!
So here’s what I came up with: Books…. All. Over. My. Room.
And I’m not talking thrown around like a crazy person (although sometimes with 5 years olds I feel that way)
I’m talking different areas for different kinds of books. I have my large library from my previous post (check it out: here), but then I have a Leveled Library (pictured below).
Each book has a small sticker on the front cover saying what reading level it is, similar to what I use for my Large Library. This system makes it SUPER easy for students to select a right fit book, and BEST YET, put the book BACK in the RIGHT spot so others can find it easily!
Now many teachers would have students exclusively choose books at their certain “level” so they can practice reading the pictures. I am a BIG believer in making kids aware of where they currently are… pointing them in the general direction of the leveled library and encourage the kids to choose books that interest them from there, BUT I do not require them to ONLY choose books from there. I had a student who was DEAD SET on learning how to read: Honestly, Red Riding Hood was Rotten!
She kept that book in her book box to independent read almost EVERY week. She started with #1 Reading the pictures. I noticed she LOVED the book, so we read it together. Then she was #3 Retelling the story. Then I met with her again, and encouraged her to find the words she DOES know and read those. Once she gained momentum of gaining sound knowledge and blending, she was going crazy about ALL. THE. WORDS. she could read. She started the school year as a Level RB (We used TRC to assess) at the end of the year her EOY assessment showed she could read at a L. Which according to TRC is a 2nd grade reading level. And this is the school year I taught 36 students… yep, you heard me right!! So for all intensive purposes with a few pointers and some helpful tips – she went and MOTIVATED herself because she SO badly wanted to read that book on her own, and who man I to get in her way. Go GURL!
So…. I say that all to say, don’t make your kiddos just stick to one box that is labeled with their “leveled” books. They can do SO MUCH MORE when they are interested in what they are reading!
MORE on what other ways we use books later… If you have a request on what you want to know more about, please comment!! I am always up for answering questions!