Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Managing Good-Fit Books

I LOVE read-to-self and good-fit books!  These are ESSENTIAL for all first graders!  When I first read CAFE and The Daily 5, I was really overwhelmed.  How could I manage this?  How could I set it up?  Where am I supposed to store all these books?  I have solved all of these problems in my classroom and this runs so smoothly now!  Here is how I made it work for me -

    I purchased a "book pouch" for each of my kiddos.  We have used these for the past three years and they are still in EXCELLENT shape!  They were about $5 each.  They are from Really Good Stuff.  Click here if you want to check them out!  I give my kids blank 3x5 index cards to write their names on and decorate.  These fit perfectly in the label.

    Leveled Library Mobile Storage CartI ordered a cart to store my leveled books in. I also have tons of other books in my classroom library. The books in the library can be looked at whenever my kids are reading in the library. The books in the cart are not to be messed with unless we are switching books. Click here if you are interested in ordering a cart like this.  The cute signs above my cart are from Chart Parts by Andrea Knight.  I love everything in this set!

    I put cute stickers on the front to label.  Easy and it works!

    I went through my books and looked them up on Scholastic's Book Wizard. This is a great tool that allows you to type in the title of a book and it will give you the reading level. I printed labels with letters and put them on the front cover of the books as I leveled them. By putting my books in the cart, I was able to see which levels I needed more of.   I also stamp all of my books with my name so that they don't get lost.

     When school starts, I don't know what level my kids will be, but I want them to practice read-to-self right away. I bought 30 copies of some books that I found in Scholastic's book orders for only $1 each. Before school starts, I stuff the pouches with a whisper phone (which I made out of PVC) and three books. They all have the same three when school starts. We use these to practice the three ways to read.

    My goal the first week is to listen to everybody read.  I just pull a level C and open to any page and listen to them.  I will move them up or down depending on if this level is too easy or too difficult.  Once my kids are placed in a level, I let them choose eight good-fit books from the cart to put in their pouches.  Eight books for each student sounds like a lot, but in the early levels, the books are so short!  Kids that are in level M choose fewer books because they take much longer to read.  I always record what level I put them in so that I can monitor their progress.  Click here to print this form!

    My kids store their book pouches inside their desks.  I TRY to get them new books every week, usually it is closer to every other week.  Kids get so excited about getting new books for their pouches.  Once this system was established, it is really simple to maintain.  I love that they are excited about books and they are practicing reading at their individual levels. 

    Kids reading books makes me a happy teacher! 


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